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THIS Third Volume is not a sequel, but an Introduction. I should like 
to say more. In issuing it, I want it to be distinctly understood that 
even for me it is not * the conclusion of the whole matter ' ; and that 
for many I hope it may prove merely a new ' beginning.' Years of 
work upon the materials presented in the First Volume have convinced 
me that round each personal name, linked as it is in those ' Original 
* Records ' with a place-name, or the names of several places, there 
might be built up a story full of interest and stimulus if only local 
records and local tradition could be made to yield their information. 
Where that has been possible, I have found State Papers, Civic Records, 
Lay Subsidy Rolls, Diocesan and Parochial Archives (specially those 
which are consulted least viz., Churchwardens' Accounts and Vestry 
Minutes) have often brought the home, the social life, the civic career, 
the active ministry, and repeated * Sufferings ' of these early Non- 
conformists to light, so that they have begun to live again. In a few 
cases, something of what may be done in this field will be found 
incidentally in the following pages <?.., in the accounts given of John 
Hickes, Thomas Watson, Jeremy Holwey, Samuel Tomlins, Robert 
Mascall as actively engaged in securing licences under the Indulgence 
either for themselves or others. Perforce this has been possible only 
with a very few. My hope is that these few may prove object-lessons 
of what may be done by local research and individual interest in 
scores, it may be hundreds, of the names which those * Original 
4 Records ' contain. 

My task in this volume has been a much humbler and more 
restricted one. It has been to gather what information I could to set 
the documents themselves in their historical environment : to show as 
far as possible the origin and characteristics of each, and so to invest 
them with a personal interest and give them a living personal signifi- 
cance. Both with the Episcopal Returns, and with the Indulgence 

vi Preface 

Documents, much more may be accomplished with fuller knowledge. 
What I have been able to bring together, however, is a beginning 
which it is hoped will give them greater significance and value than 
they can possibly possess to the reader who has not been prepared by 
previous study to fit them more or less perfectly into their proper niches 
in the history of the great Nonconformist movement. * Great,' I call 
it, because I present these volumes to the public not as an * apologia,' 
but as a tribute to the memory of these heroic men and women. How- 
ever much or little of their theological opinions we may individually 
share, and however far from their modes of life and thought and speech 
we may have drifted in the development of the religious life of the 
British people, is to me a matter of only secondary concern. What has 
become the fixed and central thought in my own mind about them all, 
and what I fain hope will prove the point of fascinating interest to 
others in our day, is that in each of these men and women we find 
convictions so deep and strong on the spirituality and freedom of 
religious worship and ritual that they were prepared to suffer expulsion 
from ' place ' and influence, severance in these matters from closest 
friends and from society they prized, fine, imprisonment, excommunica- 
tion, and exile, rather than use outward forms and phrases that to them 
had a significance they could not accept, and which hurt their < tender 
4 conscience.' 

That others had been prepared to suffer for theirs does not lessen 
the honour I am prepared to give to these, and that some among them 
may have been willing to inflict what in changed times they were 
now prepared to endure, does not make the role of persecutor less 
hateful, or the policy of persecution less barbarous, unwise, and un- 

The notices of the Bishops who sent up their Returns to Lambeth, 
and of the Nonconformists who left their applications or receipts 
for licences at Whitehall, are alike slender. Space would have coun- 
selled brevity, had not ignorance in many instances compelled it. 
Further to expand, correct, and vivify these notices would repay those 
in whom opportunity and ability unite to make it possible. What has 
been done in handling the Addresses and Petitions to the King, in 
tracing the fate of applications for Public Halls, and discovering why so 
many ' derelict ' licences may still be seen in the Public Record Office, 
of course, might have been done by anyone else, and quite possibly 
by some with greater clearness, conciseness, and force. What I have 
done, however, may at once save many labour they could ill bestow 

Preface vii 

upon documents, and stimulate others to do the thing better them- 

The first two volumes had appeared only a few weeks when I learned 
from Rev. John Stanley, F.R.Hist.S., of Longhope, that some years 
ago he had discovered, in another volume among the Tenisonian MSS. in 
Lambeth Palace Library, one of the missing Episcopal Returns made in 
1669 that, namely, sent up to Sheldon by the Bishop of Oxford. With 
a generous courtesy, of which I here make public and grateful acknow- 
ledgment, he forwarded me a careful transcript of it, with permission to 
make what use of it I pleased. I have reproduced it at the end of this 
volume in form exactly uniform with those reproduced in Volume I. 
from Volume 639 of the Tenisonian manuscripts. 

The Bishop who sent it in was the third in succession who had 
occupied the See since the Restoration. Robert Skinner was the first, 
having exercised Episcopal functions during the Interregnum, and 
being restored to the See in 1660; William Paul was the second, 
appointed only in 1663 (the year after the Act of Uniformity was 
passed) ; Walter Blandford followed him in 1665, and held the See 
till the year (1671) preceding Charles's Declaration of Indulgence, when, 
on Blandford's translation to Worcester, the Hon. Nathaniel Crewe 
took his place, the first bishop to sit in Parliament as bishop, and, 
later (from 1697), a ^ so as inheriting a peerage. It was therefore by 
Walter Blandford that this Return was made. 

In form it is regular, detailed and full. The places in which 
Conventicles are reported are distributed fairly evenly over the different 
parts of the county ; but it is a singular and striking fact that none 
are reported in Oxford City itself, or in the villages immediately 

Yet three years later, licences are freely asked for and secured for 
the Cathedral City, and for the villages of Wolvercut, Worton, and 
Sandford quite near to it. The places reported in 1672 arrange them- 
selves in three groups: (i) About Banbury and Deddington in the 
North ; (2) about Woodstock and Witney to the West ; and (3) 
along the Buckinghamshire border from Thame and Watlington to 

Of the Denominations reported, as usual, the Presbyterians are the 
most numerous ; but the Quaker meetings are numerous too. Con- 
gregationalists are separately reported only once, and that in Chipping- 
Norton ; being generally associated with either Presbyterians, or Baptists 
* mixt.' They are always called * Independents,' The purely Baptist 

viii Preface 

Conventicles are few, and it is noteworthy that some of these are described 
as Seventh-day Baptists, * Sabbatarians, who observe Saturday.' 

One point is characteristic of Blandford's report in common with 
those from Dr. Glemham of St. Asaph's, Francis Lloyd of Llandaff, 
and Hacket of Lichfield. He draws special attention to the military 
element in the Nonconformists of Oxford County. Of the two 
Conventicles which he reports at Henley-on-Thames, the one of 
' Quakers,' and the other of * all other sorts of Sectaries but chiefly 
4 Presbyterian,* he says : * The principal Frequenters & promoters of 
' both these Meetings are such as were officers & soldiers in y e Parlia- 
4 ment Army.' Of the Anabaptist Conventicle at Hooke Norton, he 
says : The ' Leading persons ' were * such as were Soldiers under 
4 Lambert ' ; while he notes the mixed Conventicle at Chadlington was 
1 held in the house of Robert Clements, an old Anabaptisticall Soldier ' ; 
while, among the * Principal abettors ' of the Quaker Conventicle at 
Tadmerton, he mentions specially * Benjamin Ward, a Quarter Master 
* in Cromwell's Army.' 

In noticing the Teachers who were ejected clergymen there is a 
notable absence of the strain of contempt characteristic of Seth Ward 
and some of the other bishops. He refers to them four times as * Non- 
' conformist Ministers ' ; only once as * one so-and-so,' and then it is 
of * one Dunce an itinerant Nonconformist.' In speaking of the Ana- 
baptist Teachers, however, there is no doubt he likes to dwell on their 
secular occupation, speaking of * Stamp a Brazier of Abingdon,' a 
Sabbatarian teacher at Worborough ; ' William Duggrove, Tobacco 
c Cutter'; < John Tomkins, Bottle Maker'; 'John Combes, Shoe- 
4 maker,' and 'one Coombes, a Miller,' probably his brother, as they are 
both of Abingdon. 

The numbers frequenting the Conventicles he rarely omits to 
mention. The two Conventicles at Watlington, and the Quaker 
meeting at Sibbord Gore, are the only instances. Nor does he seek to 
belittle them. Several he estimates at numbers hovering about the figure 
50 five below and one or two above ; three he puts at about 100 the 
Baptists of Wilcot and Worborough, and the Quakers at Brize Norton ; 
and four he reports as of 200 all mixed Conventicles, at Adderbury, 
Bicester, Coggs (close to Witney), and Thame. 

In drawing out a Summary of the places arranged topographically, I 
first thought of making it separate from that already printed in Vol. II., 
pp. 826-830. On second thoughts, however, it appeared a more useful 
and practical arrangement to draw up a Summary which would include 

Preface ix 

the references to those licensed under the Indulgence (already given in 
Vol. II.) as well as those reported in Blandford's Return, thus making 
the new Summary uniform with those given in my Classified Summary 
in Vol. II. This I have done, making it Appendix II. 

For a little, I was * at a stand ' as to how to formulate my references. 
Referring to the transcript of Vol. 639, I found that between the 
Returns from Norwich, covering R. 226 to R. 231 inclusive, and 
that from Sarum commencing at R. 236, the leaves R. 232, 233, 234, 
and 235 were left blank. In 639 the Returns from the several Dioceses 
are arranged alphabetically, and two of the missing Returns have initials 
between * N ' and ' S ' viz., Oxford and Rochester. In the absence 
of any trace of the Return from Rochester, therefore, I have divided the 
Return from Oxford between these four pages ; assigning the first ten 
Conventicles to R. 232, the next eleven to R. 233 and 233/>, the 
next two to R. 234, and the last four to R. 235. The sections vary 
considerably in length, but I have so divided them to present them in 
geographical groups. 

To the Rev. John Stanley, therefore, all students of this period are 
deeply in debt for the recovery of these Oxford Returns and the 
addition of this Original Document to those presented in the first 
part of Vol. I. 

I must tender my thanks, too, to various correspondents who have 
pointed out errors in the text and arrangements of Vol. II. Many of 
them are due to carelessness in revision of proofs. These I give 
separately in Appendix IV. 

Many more have arisen from the attempt to arrange all the personal 
names under denominational headings. In many cases both in the 
Episcopal Returns and in the Indulgence Documents the denomination 
of the Conventicle and Conventiclers reported in the one, and of the 
person licensed, or for whom a licence was sought in the other, is not 
stated. I now see that it would have been wiser to keep a section in 
each County for these, leaving it for the student by further research to 
discover the sect to which each belonged. In my desire to make the 
Classified Summary as definite and complete as possible, however, I 
assigned each and all to one of the four chief denominations (Presby- 
terian, Congregational, Baptist, and Quaker) on the best grounds I 
could find. In some cases I am satisfied with the correctness of 
my classification, chiefly where some person or persons frequenting 
the Conventicles (reported in the Episcopal Returns), whose denomi- 
nation is not there designated, have their denomination definitely 


assigned in the Indulgence documents ; but, in many, the grounds I relied 
upon in assigning the denomination were, I own, very inconclusive even 
to myself. 

In the Episcopal Returns, for instance, I have allowed my choice of 
sect to be determined largely by that of closely neighbouring Conventicles, 
and in the Licence entries by the denomination named in the entry 
immediately preceding or following it. In many others, too, I confess to 
ranging many with the Presbyterians, simply because Presbyterians were 
almost everywhere in an overwhelming preponderance of numbers ; and 
I assumed that those who were Congregationalists, Baptists, or Quakers, 
would be generally known as such, or would be almost certain to 
proclaim their denomination, whereas the moderate 'Presbyterians' 
would not be so anxious or so likely to name themselves. 

The result is, that I have discovered many false assignments of this 
kind. The greater number of them have been Baptists, and for the 
corrections of my mistakes in this respect I am indebted almost wholly 
to Dr. Whitley of Preston, Lanes (Secretary of the Baptist Historical 
Society). I suppose no man living has such detailed and accurate 
knowledge of early Baptist history, and I am glad to say that he has 
gone most carefully through the whole of my Classified Summary in 
the light of the enormous mass of information he has accumulated of the 
Baptists of those early days, and has been good enough to communicate 
to me the result of his examination with express permission to publish 
them in this volume. I append them entire in Appendix III. I should 
have been glad of similar corrections from experts in the history of any 
other of the great denominations, but I have not received them. 

In my Preface to Vols I. and II. I was glad to acknowledge the 
'kindly offices' and 'unfailing courtesy' of Mr. S. W. Kershaw, 
then Librarian at Lambeth Palace. I must take this opportunity of 
expressing my gratitude to his successor, Rev. Claude Jenkins. It 
was through his assiduous search among the Sheldon papers that I 
have been able to present to my readers a transcript of the licence 
issued by Sheldon to Nicholas Butler to * practise the art of medicine ' 
(p. 162). Quite recently, Mr. Jenkins tells me, he has come upon ' his 
actual subscription, with his autograph.' He adds : ' It is rather 
' amusing, for the clerk has assumed that he is intending to subscribe for 
' another purpose, and has begun with (in Latin) " I Nicholas Butler, 
' " being about to be admitted into the sacred order of Deacon," and then, 
4 no doubt in response to a protest, has crossed it out and begun again 
' properly.' Further, in response to an enquiry, I addressed him as to 

Preface xi 

the summary scheme entitled 'Religious Census, 1676. Account of 
' the Province of Canterbury,' referred to and commented on in pp. 140- 
144, and reproduced on p. 142, he tells me that it was sent to his 
predecessor, Mr. Kershaw, about 1872, by a Mr. Robinson. So that 
the monogram reproduced by me on pp. 140 and 142 was probably 
Mr. Robinson's ; and the full name of our authority for the accuracy of 
the transcript was John or James Robinson. 

One explanation I must make which, by the historical student, will, 
I hope, be accepted as an apology. Throughout this work in the 
Classified Summary, as well as in this Third Volume all references to 
' Calamy ' are, strictly speaking, not to the original Calamy, but to the 
Second Edition of * The Nonconformist's Memorial . . . originally 
4 written by Edmund Calamy, D.D. ; Abridged, Corrected, and 
4 Methodized ... by Samuel Palmer . . .' in three volumes, published 
in London 1802-3. The true Calamy is to be found in his < Abridgment,' 
1702; his 'Abridgement,' 1713, 2 d volume; and his 'Continuation,' 
1727, 2 vols. The British Museum catalogue has misled the 
unwary by entering Calamy's work under c Baxter,' and by entering 
Palmer's work under ' Calamy.' It is true there are cross references. 
Yet only Palmer's second edition is placed on the Reference shelves, and 
in the ' Reading Room ' catalogue this is not entered under * Palmer ' 
at all, but only under ' Calamy.' 

I cannot close this Preface without adding my special and grateful 
acknowledgments of the kindly welcome given to Vols. I. and II., and 
of the valuable help given me in the preparation of this Third Volume. 
The notices of the former which appeared in the journals and reviews 
were, almost without exception, sympathetic and appreciative ; and 
letters addressed to me by co-workers in this field of historical research 
were more encouraging still. 

In the preparation of this volume, however, I cannot but speak with 
special gratitude of the critical help and suggestions of two personal 
friends. The first rough drafts of these sheets received the patient and 
able revision of Rev. A. M. Perkins of Midhurst, whose gifts and learn- 
ing are not known as widely as they deserve to be ; and the whole of 
the proof-sheets have passed under the keen eye of Rev. Alexander 
Gordon, M.A., formerly Lecturer in Ecclesiastical History at Manchester 
University. On many points he freely communicated to me much 
valuable information ; and if these pages do not present many slips in 
detail, nor many obvious defects in style, it is partly due to his watchful 
criticism and his careful scrutiny. 

xii Prefc 


I send them forth, with no vain hope that they can secure much 
attention from * the general reader,' hut with a strong desire that they 
may be found to contain for the lover of Nonconformist antiquities, and 
the student of early Nonconformist history, fresh light on some of its 
less known but germinal episodes, and new inspiration for deeper and 
wider historical research. 






II. THEIR FORM AND CHARACTER ... ... ... ... ... 8 

1. EPISCOPAL RETURNS ... ... ... ... ... 8 

2. INDULGENCE DOCUMENTS ... ... ... ... ... 14 






PERSECUTION ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 35 

II. THE EPISCOPAL RETURNS OF 1665 ... ... ... ... 59 

III. THE EPISCOPAL RETURNS OF 1669 ... ... ... ... 69 

IV. THE EPISCOPAL RETURNS OF 1676 ... ... ... ... 140 



INDULGENCE' ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 152 


1. DR. NICHOLAS BUTLER ... ... ... ... ... 160 

2. COLONEL THOMAS BLOOD ... ... ... ... 218 



2. How THE LICENCES WERE OBTAINED ... ... ... 274 


xiv Contents of Vol. Ill 



1. FOR THEMSELVES ... ... ... ... ... 283 


(i.) Ejected Ministers 375 

(ii.) Laymen (a) In Groups ; (If) Miscellaneous, in 

Alphabetical Order 415 

(iii.) John Hickes ... ... ... ... ... 578 

and James Innes junior ... ... ... 618 

V. ADDRESSES AND PETITIONS ... ... ... ... ... 631 


LICENCE ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 648 




1. OF THEIR DATES ... ... ... ... ... 710 

2. OF THEIR NUMBERS ... ... ... ... ... 714 



I. WIDOWS MENTIONED IN THEM ... .,. ... ... ... 74! 

II. GENTRY MENTIONED IN THEM ... ... ... ... ... 758 


OF NONCONFORMITY ... ... ... ... ... ... 796 




APPENDIX IV.: ERRATA IN VOLS. I. AND II. ... ... ... 843 

INDEX 86 i 



26, line 8 from top : ' thee xecution ' should read * the execution.' 

89, line 10 from bottom : 'Gonge' should read ' Gouge.' 

92, line 10 from bottom : ' Banwell ' should read ' Bunwell.' 

94, first line : * ladie swho ' should read * ladies who.' 
1 86, line 14 from top : between * this ' and ' most ' insert ' was.' 
230, last line : ' and ' should read ' is.' 
248, first line of note * : (51) should read (15). 
273, line 17 from bottom ; (? 197c) should read in line above between 321 and 


288, line 2 from bottom : * Cawthorpe ' should read 'Cawthorne.' 
309, line 3 from bottom : * Ash ' should read * Ashe.' 
315, note *, line 2 from bottom : * 7 ' should read ' 73.' 

321, line 19 from bottom : after 'Calamy' insert '(iii. 381).' 

line 16 from bottom: between 'M r ' and 'Clarkson' read 'David '; and 
after 'Clarkson' insert (Cal. iii. 305, 306). 

322, line 22 from bottom : for ' W. M.' read ' Walter Marshall.' 
338, line 6 from top : 'I' should read 't.' 

348, line 2 from bottom of text : space between * Innes ' and 'junior.' 

352, last line : * then ' should read them.' 

366, line 17 from bottom : ' Ennal ' should read ' Emral.' 

405, line 14 from top : * Browne ' should read ' Brown. 

429, line 3 from top : ' Ovey ' should read ' Ovy.' 

474, line u from bottom : * Milcombe' should read 'Melcombe.' 

487, last line but one of text : ' with ' should read ' on.' 

510, line 21 from bottom : ' Wortligtonn ' should read ' Wortlington.' 

515, line 2 from top : ' great ' should read 'greate.' 

536, line 2 from top : 'Recfor ' should read ' Rector.' 

546, line 20 from bottom : after * influence ' delete ' and.' 

560, line 8 from bottom : * Uffeulme' should read-* Uffculme.' 

571, line 14 from bottom : 'Ottic 3 should read 'Ottie.' 

578, line i $ from bottom : * agency ' should'read ' agency.' 

581, line 6 from bottom: * Plymouth ' should read ' Portsmouth.' 

597, first line : ' R.' should read ' Samuel.' 

635, line 22 from bottom: delete comma after * Batheaston ' and insert comma 

after ' Bathford.' 
657, line 21 from bottom and 658, line 17 from bottom: 'James' before 

' Bradshaw' should read 'John.' 

678, line 15 from top : 'Champlin' should read ' Complin.' 
720 (Table) : column headed ' T,' line 3 from bottom : (80) 77 should read (77) 80 ; 

column headed ' Licences ' line 3 from bottom : 174 should read 

771, line 21 from top : ' Bow' should read 'Cow.' 

786, line 10 from top : ' Stregglethorpe ' should read ' Stragglethorpe.' 

787, line 7 from top : 'John Nelthorpe ' should read ' Richard Nelthorpe.' 
798, line 3 from bottom : 'William Oliver' should read 'John Oliver.' 

8 10, line 16 from bottom : ' Boeton ' should read ' Bocton.' 


THROUGHOUT this Volume, as in Vols. I. and II., the following symbols 
are used: 

R for Episcopal Returns. 

320 for S. P. Dom. Car. II. 320. 

321 for S. P. Dom. Car. II. 321. 
B for S. P. Dom. E. B. 27. 

E for S. P. Dom. E. B. 38A. 
I for S. P. Dom. E. B. 388. 





THE ' Records ' herewith published in printed form consist of two sets 
of documents preserved in MS. ; the one in the Library of Lambeth 
Palace, and the other in the Public Record Office, Chancery Lane, 

These documents are 'original' in a two-fold sense (i) they are 
not copies of some older text ; and (2) they are contemporary with the 
persons and events to which they refer. They have the special value, 
therefore, of being 'first hand' authorities on the subjects with which 
they deal. They are now presented in printed form, that they may be 
used by those who are unable to consult the manuscripts themselves. 
Though fragments, or selected sections of both sets, have been published 
in historical journals, or embodied in monographs, they now appear for 
the first time complete. 

The first set are the Episcopal Returns made by order of the Primate 
in the three years 1665, 1669, and 1676, and are part only of the contents 
of Volume 639 of the Codices Tenisoniani of the Lambeth Palace 
Library.* These are produced in printed form in pp. I to 191 of Vol. I. 
The second set are the various State Papers directly connected with 
the Issue of Licences under the Declaration of Indulgence published 
by Charles II. in 1672. These are produced in printed form in 
pp. 195 to 623 of the same volume. 

Though all the documents thus reproduced are ' original ' in the 
two senses described above, they are not all equally ' original ' in a 
third sense of that word. 

The documents loosely described as Episcopal Returns are not the 
actual Reports or Returns which were sent up to Lambeth by the 
various clerical and ecclesiastical authorities who made them. They 
are only precis of those Returns drawn up in columnar form by some 
official delegated to that work by the Archbishop of Canterbury.! So 

* The contents of that volume are fully given in a note at the end of this chapter, 
t The proof of this will be found in detail in Chapter II. of this first part. 

General and Prefatory 

that though we have here in printed form the actual or original pr6cis of 
the Archiepiscopal official, we have not the * original ' Returns which 
were therein condensed. 

The manuscript documents thus given are therefore all 'auto- 
graphs,' and, as such, have been reproduced as closely as possible. 
Vagaries of spelling and punctuation, contractions, and even palpable 
errors, are here repeated, so that the ' Original Record ' may be before 
the student, in a form reproducing it as faithfully and accurately as 
printers' type can reproduce human handwriting. Of course, the 
Editor cannot hope to have avoided all mistakes ; and some peculiarities 
in the script it has been found impossible, or at least impracticable, to 
reproduce. But in many cases special type has been made for this 
work, and every effort has been taken to ensure accuracy. 

One thing, of course, could not be presented to the reader, except 
by photographic reproduction a process altogether too costly to be 
contemplated. I mean the peculiarities of the different handwritings in 
different parts of the documents. But these peculiarities are of special 
interest only in those cases wherein the writers were men of note. 
The precis of the Episcopal Returns are all in one handwriting, but the 
personality of the Lambeth official who drew them out is not known, 
and if known would probably not be of any special interest. 

Of the State Papers connected with the issue of Licences under 
Charles's Indulgence, the handwriting of some sections is of very much 
greater interest than that of others. These Licence-documents consist 
in part or whole of three Entry Books, and two Volumes, or 
Albums, which are printed entire. The Entry Books were ' written 
up ' by clerks in the offices of the two principal Secretaries of State ; 
and it would be difficult for anyone to work himself into any passion of 
curiosity to know the calligraphic peculiarities of this purely clerical work. 

But the Volumes, or Albums, which are here reproduced fall into an 
entirely different category. In these we have the actual memoranda 
of application for licences, or of the acknowledgment of their receipt,, 
written by those who desired, and by those who secured, the Royal 
Indulgence licences, as well as many holograph letters of men who took 
a prominent part in arranging this Licence business. And to have 
reproduced these by photographic process would doubtless have added 
vastly to the interest of this publication. That, however, was out of the 
question. To gain that satisfaction the student must go to the Record 
Office and personally inspect the original MSS. 

The Entry Books are: S. P. Dom. E. B., No. 27, S. P. Dom. 
E. B., No. 38A, and S. P. Dom. E. B., No. 383 ; and for the contents 
of these, as far as they are here 'published,' the Editor assures the 
student he may feel that on pp. 413-418, pp. 419-585, and pp. 586-623 
respectively of Vol. I., he has on the printed page all that the MS. 
itself would give him. 

The letters and memoranda, on the other hand, are contained in 
S. P. Dom. Car II. 320, and S. P. Dom. Car. II. 321 ; and these have 
been reproduced as nearly as printing type can do so on pp. I9 
and on pp. 300-409 respectively. 

c Original Records ' 

In these two volumes, or albums, we have no less than 685 separate 
documents, which vary much in historic value ; but some of them possess 
high interest. 

There are a few licences which were never taken away from 
Whitehall, and are therefore still preserved at the Record Office, and 
reproduced in these columns. In these, of course, we have autograph 
signatures of Charles II. and of Lord Arlington. We have many 
specimens of the minute scribblings, and one or two of the larger official 
style of Sir Joseph Williamson, the Under-Secretary of State. We 
have a considerable and most significant correspondence of Dr. Nicholas 
Butler, in an execrable and almost illegible script, mainly directed to 
Sir Joseph, though one or two of the letters are addressed direct to his 
chief, Lord Arlington. 

We have two or three specimens of the small, neat handwriting 
of James Innes, senior ; not unlike the cramped but scholarlike hand- 
writing of Richard Steele, the close friend of Philip Henry (Matthew 
Henry's father), which is to be seen in a score or so of these licence- 
memoranda. What greets us most frequently is the large, flowing, 
even, and beautifully clear handwriting of John Hickes of Saltash and 
Kingsbridge, and of James Innes junior, both models of penmanship, 
and perfectly adapted to its purpose of presenting the claims to licences 
of the many who could not come to Whitehall to apply in person for 
them. The first is a living witness of the educated boldness of a man 
whose life-story is a romance, and whose death is a tragedy ; and the 
second testifies to the tireless assiduity of one who seemed to pose as 
4 universal provider ' of licences for all who wanted them. 

Nor could we have a more startling contrast, nor one more ex- 
pressive of his wild, adventurous career, than what we see in the loose 
vigour and careless spelling of the memoranda put in by Thomas 
Blood, of * Crown jewels' fame the hard fighter, the skilful plotter, 
and (it must in all fairness be added) the restless advocate of wronged 
claims, whether his own or those of others. Here, too, we have 
precious fragments from the hand of many of our Puritan heroes ; 
ejected ministers like Francis Holcroft of Cambridge, Isaac Chancy of 
Andover, Joshua Churchill of Dorchester, Robert Collins of Ottery 
St. Mary, Stephen Hughes and Daniel Higgs of Swansea, and Thomas 
Watson of St. Stephen's, Walbrook, London. Nor should we fail 
specially to mention the memoranda of Thomas Taylor, the friend of 
Bunyan, in one of which the handwriting so strongly resembles that 
of his friend that so high an authority as Dr. John Brown, Bunyan's 
biographer, does not hesitate to claim for 321 (58) that it is an auto- 
graph of the Immortal Dreamer himself. With the exception of the 
last, every one of these interesting fragments bears the signature of the 
writer, so that there is no question as to who wrote them. 

Unfortunately, however, a very large proportion of these memoranda 
is unsigned. Repeated study of these documents, and careful com- 
parison, has enabled the Editor to identify the authors of many of them, 
and in brief notes enclosed in brackets he has concisely indicated his con- 
clusions. There is room, of course, for divergence of opinion as to 

General and Prefatory 

these hazarded identifications ; and there is room, also, for much 
further research in this direction. 

Indeed, it would be a very great satisfaction to the Editor if the 
publication of these documents were to stimulate interested experts to 
ascertain the authors of many where the handwriting is remarkable and 
suggestive, such as 321 (272), or of groups such as (42, 43, 106, and 
107) in 320 ; (74 and 76), (108 and 109), (248 and 248 i),' (259, 260) 
in the same volume ; and of (24, 25), (352, 353, and 354) in 321. 


The contents of Vol. 639 of the 'Codices Tenisoniani ' are so varied in 
their character and of such interest that I here present a detailed analysis 
of the whole. 

1. (Pp. 1-85.) The Lands and Revenues of Cathedral Churches and 


2. (Pp. 86-138.) A Catalogue of all the Furniture of the King's Palace. 

[The Editor adds : ' I suppose it was King James I.'] 

*3. (Pp. 139-319.) Part of the Episcopal Returns. 

(i.) (Pp. 139-299.) Returns for 1669 and 1676. 
(ii.) (Pp. 300-303^.) 1665. Returns for St. Asaph. 
'Hi.) (Pp. 304-308.) 1665. Returns for Exeter. 
) (Pp. 310-319.) 1665. Returns for Bristol. 

4. (Pp. 319-330.) Returns of Ordinations in various Dioceses from 1666- 

(i.) (Pp. 319-320.) From Xmas, 1667 Xmas, 1668: St. David's 

(signed Guliel. Menevensis). 
(ii.) (Pp. 321-324.) From Xmas, 1669 Xmas, 1670: St. David's 

(extracted from the Archives, Ap. I, 1671). 

(iii.) (Pp. 325-326.) From Xmas, 1666 Xmas, 1667: St. David's. 
(iv.) (Pp. 327-328.) From Xmas, 1668 Xmas, 1669: St. David's 

(extracted Ap. 2, 1670). 
(v.) (Pp. 329-330.) At Brecon, 19 Sept., 1669. 

5. (Pp. 331 336^.) Bishop of St. David's * Answeres.' 

(i.) (P. 331.) To the First Article concerning Ordinacon from 

Xmas, 1664, to Xmas, 1665. 
(ii.) (Pp. 332-335.) To the Second Article concerning Pluralities 

and their Curates. 

(iii.) (P. 335.) To the Third Article concerning Lectures and 

[' I answere there is noe Lecture nor Lecture 1 " allowed by 
mee in this Dioecess neyther doe I know of or had any 
complaints of any/] 

To the fowerth Article concerning Schoolemasters 

and Instructers of youth. ['All well-affected &c.'] 
(iv.) (P. 336^.) To the 5 Article concerning Practisers of Physicke. 
[Three : all < well affected.'] 

*6. (Pp. 336^-338.) To the 6. Article concerning NonConformist Ministers. 

c Original Records ' 

(Pp. 339-34L) Blank - 

7. (Pp. 341-345.) Benefices in the Bishop of London's Patronage or gift. 

(i.) (Pp. 341-342.) Benefices in y e BP of Londons Patronage out of 

y e Diocesse of London, 
(ii.) (Pp. 343-344.) A note of all such benefices as ar in my L d 

Bpp of Londons guift. 
(iii.) (P. 345.) Majora beneficia in Civitate Londin. 

8. (Pp. 346-353.) The Certificate of Edward Reynolds Clerk ArchDeacon 

of Norff w th in the Diocesse of Norw ch returned unto the right 
Reverend Father in God Edward Lord Bishop of Norwich unto the 
Orders & Instruccons of the most reverend Father in God Gilbert 
Lord ArchBishop of Canterbury his Grace &c. as followeth viz* 
Concerning Ordinacons Pluralities. 

9. (Pp. 355-389.) Returns made by His Majesty's Order of the Hospitals 

in England and Wales in 1665. 

(i.) (Pp. 356-357.) By Bp. of St. Asaph's. 
(ii.) (Pp. 358-362.) Bp. of Bangor. 
(iii.) (Pp. 363-367.) By Bp. of Carlisle, 
(iv.) (P. 368.) Bpp. of St. Davids and St. Asaph. 

(v.) (Pp. 370-377.) Bp. of Durham, 
(vi.) (Pp. 378-383.) Bp. of Ely. 
(vii.) (Pp. 384-389.) Bp. of Exeter. 

10. (Pp. 390-395.) A list of persons Ordained at Exeter from Sep. 2, 1662, 
to Sep. 24, 1665. 

*n. (Pp. 396-41 7^.) Return of Bp. of Exeter in 1665 of Hospitals, Pluralities, 
Scholemasters, Lecturers, Physicians. 

Of this Return only portions are reproduced. 

12. (Pp. 419-436.) Return of Hospitals {continued from 9). 

(viii.) (Pp. 419-425.) By Bp. of Lincolne. 
(ix.) (Pp. 425-426.) By Bp. of Norwich, 
(x.) (Pp. 427-429.) By Bp. of Peterborough [429. Rutland], 
(xi.) (430-436.) By Bp. of Worcester. 

*I3. (Pp. 437-438.) Summary of Bp. of Exeter's Full Report. 

14. (Pp. 438-445.) Petition re Proposals of Reconciliation and Compre- 


15. (P. 446.) Addition to Return of Hospitals. 

(xii.) (P. 446.) Report of St. Magdalen Hospital by Bawtrce in 
County of Nottingham. 

N.B. The portions marked with an * are those reproduced in the first 
part of Vol. I. 

8 General and Prefatory 


THE first chapter has given a general outline of the documents. It is 
now necessary to fill in the outline. 


These are extracts from Vol. 639 of the Manuscript Department of 
the Lambeth Palace Library, the full contents of which are described in 
the note appended to that chapter. The volume contains 416 leaves, 
which are paginated only on one side that which lies to the right hand 
when the book is open. [The left-hand page I always refer to as the 
back ('') of the previous page.] So that it contains 832 folio pages. 
I have transcribed only those which refer to Nonconformists, giving 
reports (i) of the whereabouts and attitude of their ministers in 1665, 
(2) of their Conventicles in 1669, and (3) of their numbers in 1676,* 
and they cover a little under 400 pages out of 832 (more exactly, 395 
pages, in whole or part) ; 370 being reproduced in full, and portions 
(sometimes larger, sometimes smaller) of 25 more. 

The Returns which I have reprinted I have described comprehensively 
as Episcopal, because they were sent up to Archbishop Sheldon by the 
Bishops of the several dioceses in both provinces of Canterbury and York 
in answer to inquiries addressed to them by him in 1665, 1669, and 
1676. The form in which they are preserved in Vol. 639, and repro- 
duced in print in this work, is not, however (as has been already hinted), 
the form in which they were sent up. They have all been edited by 
some one employed by Sheldon for the purpose, being reduced to a 
uniform scheme, so as to facilitate comparison and present results in as 
compact a form as possible.t That they are redactions, not the 
originals, one simple fact makes clear : they are practically all in one 
clear clerkly handwriting: not in the varied scripts of the different 
Bishops, much less in those of the subordinate officials or the individual 
clergy whom the Bishops would instruct to gather the various informa- 
tion required. Yet it is evident that characteristic phrases, describing 
different individuals reported on, have been carefully reproduced ; e.g., 
in two of the few 1665 Returns which have been preserved, such 
descriptive phrases are in some cases repeated alike in the brief summary 
as well as in the fuller form in which they appear in these pages. 

The Editor was evidently of a very logical and exact turn of mind, 
for wherever it was possible he has reduced all the returns to a tabular 

* They are contained on pp. 139-3186, 331, 3366-338, 354, and portions of pp. 398, 
3986, 3996, 4006, 402, 4026, 4036, 404, 4046, 405, 4056, 406; 4066, 4076, 408, 4086, 409, 
410, 4106, 411, 4116, 412, 413, 4136, 414. 

f Was it by Samuel Parker, afterwards Bishop of Oxford? He had been 
appointed as Archdeacon of Canterbury, and his private Chaplain, in 1665, the year 
in which the first Returns were asked for. 

c Original Records ' 

scheme arranging the particulars forwarded from different places in 
columns, each set apart for information on some particular point. 

The inquiries issued in 1665, however, were so varied, and called for 
such voluminous answers,* that they could not be compressed within the 
limits of a column ; and as a result the very few that are preserved take 
the ordinary cursive form, the replies being condensed, and written 
across the page. It will be noted, however, that though these are the 
earliest in point of time, the returns for 1665 are entered last in this 
Vol. 639, coming after the returns of 1669 and 1676. 

Both of these latter are arranged or tabulated in columnar form. It 
was easy and natural, of course, in the case of those of 1676, as the 
inquiries then issued concerned numbers alone viz., the numbers in 
each parish of (i) the inhabitants, (2) Popish sectaries, and (3) other 
sectaries. But it required more care and the art of severe condensation 
to arrange the substance of the reports sent in in 1669 in this tabular 
form. Still, it has been done wherever it was possible, though in many 
cases, we regretfully conclude, it has been accomplished only by the 
exclusion of a large amount of detailed information which would have 
been invaluable to the historian of Nonconformity. 

In some cases evidently the editor found it impossible to adhere to 
his scheme. From the Northern Province, only the Returns from Yorke 
diocese (R. 278-285^) and the very fragmentary one from Carlisle 
(R. 294) could be thus treated. The returns from the Diocese of 
Durham and the Archdeaconries of Chester and Richmond were so 
meagre that they could not be cast into columnar form, for they 
furnished only ( the numbers of persons that continue to Keep Meeting 
and conventicles of pretended Religious worship contrary to the law.' 
The names of persons given are so few that they only appear sporadic- 
ally in one or two places after the number of conventicles and of those 
attending them. 

One other departure from this ' cut-and-dried ' system is so rich in 
humorous detail that it enables us to realize the loss we have sustained 
by the adoption of it.- A paper is given on R. 216, under the 
heading of 'Conventicles in Hartfordshire,' containing a most vivid 
account of the state of things in ' the Towne of Hartford.'* But that is 
the only information furnished from the north-eastern half of the county. 

In all other cases the 1669 returns are reduced to tables in which a 
column is given to each head of the Archbishop's inquiries. Yet these 
inquiries were not read with sufficient care, or the information obtained 
was not sufficiently detailed and systematic to allow them all to be 
arranged according to one common plan. 

The standard arrangement, to which the Editor evidently wished to 
adhere throughout, is in five columns : the first containing the names of 
the Parishes and of the places in them in which Conventicles were held ; 
the second giving the Sect or Denomination to which the Conventiclers 
belonged ; the third the Numbers attending them ; the fourth their 
Quality and the chief men amongst them ; and the fifth their Teachers, 

* See details given in Part II., Section I., Cap I. 
| Vide vol. i., pp. 84, 85. 

io General and Prefatory 

Preachers, or Pastors. In more than half of the Dioceses, the five columns 
are headed in exactly the same way and order viz., (i) Parishes and 
Conventicles in them; (2) Sects; (3) Numbers; (4) Quality; 
(5) Heads and Teachers. In two viz., St. Asaph and Ely there is 
variation in the fourth and fifth columns ; the fourth associating with 
' Quality ' * Abettors,' meaning influential persons who ' patronized ' 
or supported these Nonconformist Conventicles ; and the fifth drops the 
word ' Heads,' keeping 'Teachers' only; and Sarum (Seth Ward) has 
his own precise and antiquated way of putting each : i. ' Parr-w th -y e - 
Conventicles in them'; 2. 'Sects of y m '; 3. 'Their Number'; 
4. 'Quality and Abettors'; and 5. 'Heads and Teachers.' 

Canterbury and London adopt a form not exactly like any of the 
others, heading the first column ' Parishes and Places,' putting 
' Numbers and Quality ' together at the head of the third, heading the 
fourth with ' Principalls and Abettors,' and the fifth with ' Preachers 
and Teachers.' But the Returns from Bath and Wells could be 
arranged only in four columns instead of five. What appears in the 
other returns as Column I is split up into two ; giving in the first only 
the Parishes in which Conventicles are kept, and in the second ' Places 
where such Conventicles are held, omitting the columns for ' Sects ' 
and ' Quality and Abettors ' altogether, and heading Column 3 
' Numbers,' and Column 4 ' Teachers.' 

The Returns from each Diocese are given under the Archdeaconries 
or Deaneries into which the Diocese is ecclesiastically divided, in every 
case the order observed being geographical. Under the head of each 
Deanery or Archdeaconry the several parishes it contains are given, in 
most cases arranged topographically, but in three cases viz., those of 
Canterbury, Lincoln, and Sarum alphabetically, and in these every 
parish is named, whether any Conventicle was held in it or no. [Where 
there was none, the name of the parish is followed by the figure o.] 

The title of the Return from Bath and Wells which was so 
awkwardly rendered that it had to be entered in a four-column scheme 
gives illuminating evidence as to the way the Returns were made. It 
reads (R. 142)* : ' A Certificate of the Conventicles kept within the 
County of Somersett & Diocesse of Bath & Wells, According to the 
ministers Returnes upon the Instructions given them by my Ld's Grace 
of Cant r 7 in His Letters.' 

Evidently, then, the ' Origines ' of these tabulated returns were 
reports sent to the Bishop by every ' Minister ' (Rector or Vicar) in his 
Diocese, sometimes directly, and in other cases indirectly, through the 
the Deans or the Archdeacon. 

Unfortunately these originals, though evidently sent up to head- 
quarters as the material out of which the Episcopal Return was compiled, 
have been lost. Nothing, at least, is known of them at the Library of 
Lambeth Palace. 

To the historical student this is very vexatious, as the frequent refer- 
ences to them in the documents which have been preserved show that 
they would have contained information with reference to individual 

* Vol. i.,p. 5. 

c Original Records ' 1 1 

Nonconformists which to many investigators would have been of price- 
less value. For example : (i) In the Report from Chichester, in four 
cases viz., those of Brighthelmstone (R. 173), Itchingford (R. 174), 
Lindfield and Pagham (R. 175) the same formula is repeated : ' See 
their names in the Returned Under the name Westmeston, again 
(R. 173), we have : ' See the Returne figure the 6 th '; and under Rye 
(R. 175-6) we have : ' See the names of the Sectaries in the Returne.' 

2. In that from Ely, under Doddington (R. 178), we come upon the 
phrase, 'See the Minister's Returne,' and under Fulbourne All Sts. 
(R. 181) we have, < See y e Returne.' 

3. In the Report from Lichfield and Coventry, under Mickleover 
(R. 191), we find, 'See Arch. D. Browne's Returne'; and with refer- 
ence to the County of Derby (on R. 192) we have : ' For this whole 
Archdeaconry y e Archd: Returne'; while it is particularly tantalizing 
to see what we may have lost in the Archdeaconry of Coventry (R. 194) 
touching the Conventicle held in Dr. Wild's house in Nuneaton (as we 
are advertised in the phrase, ' See Arch. D. Rylands Returne '), seeing 
that Dr. Wild was the great Puritan lampoonist of the foibles of the 
ritual and conduct of the prelatical Episcopalians ; and when we read 
under the heading of Newton Regis (R. 194), ' See Arch. D. Ryland's 
Return for their Encouragem 1 . ' /'.*., the reasons they allege as having 
encouraged them to hold their illegal Meetings. 

4. In Seth Ward's Report from Sarum we find under Windsor Nova 
(R. 240), < See the Returne for George Starkey's Paper.' 

5. In the Report from Worcester the references are frequent. On 
R. 273, under Alusten, we have the sentence : < See the returne it's selfe 
for the names of some of the chiefe Sectaries '; and under Stratford- 
upon-Avon (R. 273) we have: < See the names in the Returne'; while 
on the following page (R. 273^), under Kington, we have : ' See the 
names in the Returne'; and under Brayles : ' See the Returne for the 

All the above are from the Province of Canterbury. Nor are hints 
altogether absent in those from the Northern Province. 

6. From York Diocese three times we have the same formula, 
< See the Returne it's selfe 'under Barnaby in Willows (R. 280), 
under Rempston (R. 281), and under Leeds (R. 283/>) ; whilst on 
R. 284, under Thornhill, we have, < See Mr. Lacy's letter.' 

Until quite recently I was driven to the conclusion that all this most 
interesting information had been irreparably lost ; but a passage which I 
recently lit upon in a local history of Mansfield (Notts) shows that in 
the Northern Province, at least, some of the original individual returns 
have been preserved. 

The writer, W. Horner Groves, cites the actual answers sent in 
by the Vicar of Mansfield and by the Incumbent of Mansfield Wood- 
house and Skegby. And that Mr. Groves is able to give us these two 
transcripts suggests that many more may be preserved, discovered, and 
given to the world to supplement the information given in 639. 

These two are most interesting, and serve to show how carefully the 
precis contained in the Lambeth MS. is drawn up. 

12 General and Prefatory 

The first is from John Firth, who was inducted to the Vicarage of 
Mansfield in 1654 by the Board of Triers, on the presentation of His 
Highness Oliver, Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of England, 
together with a testimony on behalf of the said John Firth of his holy 
and good conversation.* * The present Vicar/ Mr. Sanders says, ' has 
4 written that Firth found himself far too comfortable to run the risk of 
4 ejection on Black Bartholomew ; and when many of the ejected found 
* a refuge in Mansfield, John Firth seems to have been charitably disposed 
4 towards them.* 

4 The replies made by the Vicar of Mansfield to the set of queries 
were as follows : 


4 u Whereas you require my present and speedy answer to four 

1 " Be pleased, therefore, to take the following return : 

' " To the first query I answer, common fame says there are three 
sorts of Conventicles or Church meetings held in this town of Mansfield, 
who all have their stated days and times for assembling, and they are 
reported to be these first, the Papists ; secondly, the Quakers (neither 
of which do appear at the public assembly, i.e. the Church service) ; and 
thirdly, the Presbyterians, who do frequent the public assembly here. 

' "To the second, the number of persons at the Papists' meetings are 
reported to be about thirteen. At the Quakers' meeting, about twenty 
ordinarily, and at some extraordinary times threescore. And at the 
Presbyterians' meetings in the week-days, not twenty ; but on the 
Lord's day, forty or fifty. The quality of the Papists is mean, both 
men and women, most of them inhabitants of this town. The 
quality of the Quakers mean, most of them women, and inhabitants 
of other parishes. The quality of the Presbyterians is better and more 
wealthy, some inhabiting in this parish and some in others. 

< " To the third, my acquaintance with them is not so considerable as 
to enable me to give any positive answer hereunto. 

' " To the fourth, the Papists are said to meet at the house of Samuel 
Clay or at the house of Henry Dawes, and their speakers to be 
sometimes M r . Turner and sometimes M r . Clay. The Quakers are 
said to meet at the house of Tymothy Garland for the most part, and it 
is said they are all speakers. The Presbyterians are said to meet either 
at the house of M r . John Whitlock, or M r . William Reynolds, or of 
M r . Robert Potter, or of M r . John Billingsby, or of M r . Robert 
Smalley, and it is said that these, or some of these, are their speakers. 
This, in obedience to your commands, is returned by 

4 " JOHN FIRTH, Vicar of Mansfield. 
^" August I2//2, i669."'t 

4 The answer to the inquiry as to MansfieW Woodhouse and Skegby 
was as follows : 

* C. H. S. Transactions, vol. v., No. 4, pp. 228, 229. 
f Groves's ' History of Mansfield,' p. 337. 

c Original Records ' 1 3 

' " In reply to your worshipful archdeacon's letter, I know nothing 
but this : 

'"That at Mansfield Woodhouse we have no conventicles but 
one of Quakers at the house of Robert Bingham (excommunicated 
for not comynge to Church), but who they are who frequent it I 
cannot say. 

* " At Skegby, alsoe, there is a Conventicle of Quakers at the house 
of Elizabeth Hatton, widow ; but I cannot learn who they are who fre- 
quent them, they being all of the other towns. 

' " In the same towne of Skegby, alsoe, there is another con- 
venticle reputed Anabaptists and fifth monarchy men held at 
Mr. Lyndley's (excommunicated alsoe), but I know neither their 
speakers nor hearers. 

' " Sir, your most humble servant, 


The condensed precis of these two returns are given on R. 279 and 
279/>. They come under the head of the ARCH-DEACONRY OF 
NOTTINGHAM and the Nottingham Deanery. A careful comparison 
shows that the variations between original and precis are few and very 
unimportant, though the original is, of course, a little the fuller. 
* Tymothy ' in the original becomes ' Timothy '; ' Billingsby ' becomes 
' Billingsley '; and 'Potter' becomes 'Porter '; in each case the precis 
being more accurate than the original : ' Robert Bingham of Mansfield 
Woodhouse ' becomes ' Richard B.,' and ' Elizabeth Hatton ' and 
4 Mr. Lyndley of Skegby ' become ' E. Hutton ' and ' Mrs. Lindley ' 
respectively. On the point of ' quality,' however, the precis drops the 
two points that the Quakers of Mansfield are ' most of them women, 
and inhabitants of other parishes,' and that the Presbyterians are 'more 
wealthy, some inhabiting in this parish and some in others.' 

One thing is made quite clear by these two documents that the 
ultimate ' material ' from which these scheduled Returns were compiled 
were the separate Returns prepared by each one of the parochial clergy. 
Though these are nearly all lost, however, we still have in some cases 
notes or particulars preserved which are of special interest. Such are 
those notes introduced in the Returns of St. Asaph in R. 139 and 
139; and in the Returns of London R. 221 and 222 ; while to the same 
category belong the nine observations (' things observable ') appended by 
Archdeacon Parker and Commissary Boucher to their 1676 Returns for 
the Diocese of Canterbury (R. 169). 

But this incidental reference to the 1676 Returns brings us by a 
natural transition to speak of these. In the only two which are pre- 
served in this volume in any fulness the tabular form is preserved, the 
numbers being arranged in three columns ; those from Canterbury being 
headed Q 1 , Q 2 , Q 3 , the reference being to the three Inquiries or Queries 
made by the Archbishop (vide R. 163^), and those from Sarum being 
headed Popish Recusants, Separatists, and Inhabitants, but preceded hy a 
fourth, giving the names of the Minister in each parish which is succes- 

* Groves's History of Mansfield,' p. 338. 

14 General and Prefatory 

sively named.* Two other Returns are made in a Summary Abstract 
giving the totals in each Diocese viz., Winton (R. 270) and York 
(R. 297). 

Let this suffice as to the general form and character of the Episcopal 
Returns. We now turn to those of the Licence Documents. 


The Indulgence Documents are contained in five volumes preserved in 
the Public Record Office two of them in the Domestic Series of State 
Papers for the reign of Charles II. (viz., Vols. 320 and 321), and three 
of them in Entry Books registering appointments which were in the gift 
of the King viz., No. 27, No. ^8A, and No. 386. 

The former (which are calendared and indexed as S. P. Dom. 
Car, II., 320 and 321) contain information connected with the mould- 
ing and working of the Indulgence Declared by Charles II. in 1672 and 
with the issue of licences under it, of a much more varied character than 
that contained in the Entry Books. All that the Entry Books do 
is to register the licences actually made out for those whose requests were 
'approved' by His Majesty ; but Vols. 320 and 321 contain memoranda 
of application for licences (either jotted down on slips of paper, or more 
elaborately formulated in Petitions addressed directly to the King), and 
acknowledgments of their receipt : together with several drafts of licences, 
some actual licences which were never taken away from Whitehall, 
and a number of letters. The first two of the Entry Books, there- 
fore, are mere ledgers or diaries, which are paged continuously like any 
printed book ; and references to them in the calendar, or by anyone 
basing a statement on their contents, follow the formula < E. B. 27 
(or 38A), page so-and-so.' Entry Book 386 is only an imperfect index 
to these, the entries being presented in a condensed form and in the 
order of their dates, under the heading of the county in which the 
place concerned was situated, the counties being arranged in alpha- 
betical order. But Vols. 320 and 321 are rather albums than ordinary 
books, in which these documents are mounted ; and reference to them 
is made by the number of the document in each volume. 

These documents vary considerably in size and extent. Some of 
them consist of only two or three lines on mere scraps or slips of 
paper, so small that two or three are mounted on a single page ; others 
occupy the whole space of an opening ; and others, again, cover two or 
three folded pages, like an ordinary letter. In olden time indeed, up 
to forty or fifty years ago they were kept in bundles wrapped in brown 
paper'; and each leaf had a number affixed to it at the right-hand bottom 
corner, whether it was a single slip or a part of a many-paged document. 
Now that they are mounted in volumes, however, it is the document as 
a whole which is numbered (whether it covers one page only or many), 
the numerals identifying them being placed at the top right-hand corner 
* For an example in full, vide R. 25S&. 

c Original Records ' 1 5 

of its first page. The Calendarist, in his precis takes account only of these 
latter numerals, so that the formula of reference is always ' S. P. Dom., 
Car. II., 320 or 321, No. so-and-so': and this is the form (abbreviated) 
in which all references are made to them throughout this work. 

By far the greater number are memoranda of application for 
licences, giving simply the particulars required in order to make out the 
licence or licences applied for. These memoranda were usually signed 
and dated by the applicant, and were personally handed in at Lord 
Arlington's office at Whitehall, either to Sir Joseph Williamson or one 
of his clerks. Some are signed without being dated, and others, again, 
which unfortunately are very numerous, have neither date nor signature. 

Certain applications were much more formal and elaborate, being 
Petitions addressed to the King. These doubtless were sent by post or 
taken to Whitehall by special messenger. Of such petitions fourteen 
are preserved in 320 and thirteen in 321. They are examined in detail 
in Part II., Section II., Chapter V. 

Others were conveyed in letters addressed either to the Treasurer, to 
Lord Arlington (one of the Chief Secretaries of State), to Sir Joseph 
Williamson (Lord Arlington's Secretary), or to Mr. (Francis) Benson, 
Sir Joseph's chief clerk ;* and a very few were sent indirectly under cover 
of letters to friends in town : e.g., a letter from Edmund Calamy, 
' annalist of the ejected ' to Mr. Ennis (James Inness, senior) [320 (34)] ; 
and another from Charles Fisher (on behalf of his father, Samuel Fisher, 
of Birmingham), which is unaddressed, but which was probably intended 
for Robert Blayney [320 (112)]. 

Then there is a whole series of drafts of licences, some in Sir Joseph's 
handwriting, but more of them in Mr. Benson's, and some printed 
forms, the blanks unfilled, which were probably ' proofs ' sent to White- 
hall for approval [320 (7) to (17)]. 

Besides these there are several licences actually filled up (/'.<?., the 
particulars written in the blank spaces), all by Mr. Benson ; some 
of them neither signed nor dated ; some signed but not dated ; and 
some one or two both signed and dated. These last present a problem. 
Why were documents in every respect completed, and constituting 
an unchallengable authority to the licensee, left at Whitehall (to 
be in course of time transferred to the archives in the Public Record 
Office), never either taken away nor despatched to the licensee ? 
The answer probably will differ in each case, and only a separate 
examination of each can furnish the right answer. This examination is 
undertaken in Part II., Section II., Chapter VII. 

Finally, there is a series of twenty letters from Dr. Nicholas Butler, 
most of them addressed to Sir Joseph Williamson, with whom he seems 
to have been on terms of special intimacy, with one or two to Lord 
Arlington and one or two to Mr. Benson. The last really belong to 

* There is one from Francis Whiddon of Totness to Sir Thomas Clifford 
[320 (42)] ; there are two from Dr. Butler to Lord Arlington [320 (6) and 320 
(196)] ; five at least to Sir Joseph Williamson [320 (35), 320 (211), 321 (137.) 321 
(153), and 321 (19?A)] ; and eight to Mr. Benson [320 (271), 320 (297) ; 321 (8), 
321 (67), 321 (lb'9); 321 (246), 321 (311), and 321 (341). 

1 6 General and Prefatory 

the already mentioned group of applications made indirectly in letters; 
but those addressed to Lord Arlington, and many of those to Sir Joseph 
Williamson, show Dr. Butler to have taken an influential, if not a 
leading, part in settling the form the Licences were to assume and the 
method by which the Indulgence was to be worked. They also show 
that he organized a movement among Nonconformists prompting and 
inducing them to avail themselves freely of the Indulgence. 

So living an interest has this variety of documents contained in 
320 and 321. 

The Entry Books, on the other hand, are as meagre and dry as 
officialism can make them. The second of them, 38A, is entirely devoted 
to the registration of the licences made out under the Declaration of 
Indulgence, and is a mass of disconnected names and dates. Each entry 
gives simply the particulars with which the licence forms were filled in; 
viz., the name of the person licenced (whether as teacher or owner of 
the meeting-place) ; the place (town or village) to which the licence 
applies ; the denomination or sect of those who were hereby authorized 
to meet without disturbance j and the date on which the licence was 

In the first few pages these particulars are given rather more fully 
i.e., the connecting phrases are ampler, and in a form to make a separate 
sentence for each entry ; but they rapidly become more condensed, until 
(when the clerk found that the numbers scarcely lessened as the days 
went by) they are put in the compactest and most condensed form con- 
sistent with the identification of the licence, the issue of which is 
thereby registered. 

The pages are ruled with a marginal column, and for nearly sixty 
pages that margin is punctiliously filled up with the names of the 
person, the denomination, and the place. But Sir Joseph's patience 
or that of his clerk, Mr. Benson seems to have been exhausted by the 
time fifty-nine pages were thus filled in, and in the other 320 odd pages 
the marginal column is disregarded. The licences thus entered in 
E. B. 38A number more than 4,000. 

This volume was evidently kept in Lord Arlington's office and filled 
in by Sir Joseph Williamson and his clerks (chiefly by Mr. F. Benson), 
and is a complete register of all the licences obtained through Lord 
Arlington. It seems, however, that some would-be licensees applied to 
Sir John Trevor. They were only few, and the licences entered are 
only fifty in all. The entries cover only six weeks, ranging in date 
between April 9 and May 17. These are entered in a separate book, 
calendared E. B. No. 27, in which other ecclesiastical preferments were 
entered which were in the King's gift. 

By previous workers it has been taken for granted that all the licences 
entered in these books were actually issued (although many of the 
entries in 38A are undated), the date last entered being the date of all the 
undated licences entered afterwards till another date is given. 

In the earlier stages of my study of these documents I was inclined 
strongly to question whether that were the case ; and in the ' Classified 
Summary,' which constitutes the body of Vol. II., that doubt is indi- 

c Original Records ' 1 7 

cated by the insertion of a mark of question before the symbols * L.I.,' 
which mean ' Licence Issued.' I had strong reasons for this doubt. In 
many cases there is the clearest evidence that the date was not affixed at 
the time the entry was made. In some instances the handwriting of the 
date is palpably different from that of the ' body ' of the entry ; and in 
others, where the handwriting is the same, the tint of the inkmarks is 
fainter or more faded. That naturally suggested what I think is most 
likely the fact that as soon as ever a Licence-form was filled in with 
the particulars for which blanks in the printed formula were left, it was 
entered (or should we not say ' these ' were entered ?) in the Entry Book. 
But such a filled-in form had no value, conveyed no authority to the 
licensee, until it had been signed at the head by the King, and at foot 
by Lord Arlington or Sir John Trevor. As that was done, however, 
the date was written in the blank left for it in the licence, since the date 
of issue was, of course, the date on which these signatures were affixed. 
The natural and proper thing for the clerk then and thereupon to do, was 
to affix the date to the entry in the Entry Book, to record the comple- 
tion and valid issue of the licence. This is done regularly and faithfully 
through the first 170 pages of E., with one curious exception 
viz., the first two entries on E. (150), which are duplicates of the 
licences entered on E. (128) as granted to Dr. Francis Cross [for him to 
preach in Thomas Ford's house in Pensford, and for Thomas Ford's 
house to be an * allowed ' meeting-place] ; and are defective as not 
having Thomas Ford's name in them as well as by bearing no date. 

Near the bottom of E. (170) the charm is broken, and for the 
rest of the book about 120 pages the addition of dates is most 
irregular. The last batch of dated entries is that which extends from 
the middle of E. (149) to near the bottom of E. (170) all bearing the 
date June 10. 

Reflecting on the curious irregularity which succeeds this faithful 
and continuous dating of all entries up to that point, it seemed reason- 
able to infer that where the date was not appended to an entry, the 
Licence, though the c corpus ' of it was filled in, had not been signed by 
the King and his Secretary of State, and so was not really issued. Nor 
am I sure that this does not represent the facts in many cases. 

That it does not in #//, and so may not in any y I am compelled 
freely to admit, since cases have been brought to my knowledge of the 
existence of licences which were duly issued and are preserved as sacred 
treasures by those who possess them, the entries of which were not dated 
in E. 

Two were mentioned by the late Rev. Bryan Dale (in the course of 
a correspondence I had with him on this question in 1905-1906) viz., 
the licences of Thomas Johnson for his own house in Sandall Magna, 
entered on E. (253), and that for a meeting-house of Joshua Horton at 
Quarrell Hill, Sowerby, entered on E. (288). The first, we learn on 
the authority of Joshua Wilson, was (at some time subsequent to 1 82 1 ) 
in possession of Thomas Johnson's kinsman and namesake of Holbeck, 
Leeds ; and the second, Oliver Heywood's biographer, Hunter, distinctly 
states was obtained by Joshua Horton < by Mr. Heywood's assistance.' 


1 8 General and Prefatory 

A third has only just been brought to my notice first, indirectly in a 
letter from Rev. T. G. Crippen ; and secondly, in a letter addressed to 
me by the lady who possesses the licence, and has kindly transcribed the 
particulars written in the blanks of the licence-form. 

It is the licence granted to Elizabeth Hopden, widow, of Goudhurst 
in Kent, for a Presbyterian Meeting-House. Of this licence the entry 
in E. is defective in two ways. Not only is it undated, but the denomi- 
nation whose interests it was meant to serve is not given.* But, of 
course, both particulars are given in the licence itself. The owner 
Mrs. Dunn of Redleaf, Tunbridge Wells has kindly furnished me 
with them. The denomination was ' Presbyterian,' and the date when 
it was issued was November 9, 1672. 

Here, then, is a third indisputable instance of a licence being actually 
issued, the entry of which is undated, and my suggestion is finally dis- 
posed of, and positively disproved, that the absence of a date after a 
licence-entry is a safe sign that the licence was never completed by signa- 
ture and so never actually issued. Still, of course, it does not prove that 
in every instance the entry of a licence in either B. or E. is evidence that 
the licence was issued whether the entry were dated or not. It simply 
shows that the licence may have been issued spite of the fact that its 
entry is undated. 

The extreme irregularity of many of the licence entries in the last 
IOO pages of E. still keeps my doubt alive. Why else do we find on 
one and the same page some entries dated and some undated, as on 
E. (181), where two entries are dated ' 15 June,' and all the rest are 
undated, or on E. (175), six pages back, where only one entry is dated 
viz., '13 June'? All the other entries on pp. 171 189 inclusive 
have no date appended at all. [The examples might be multiplied from 
the later pages of the book.] 

The real significance of this c absence ' of date, at any rate, is so far 
from clear that my decision is still justified to print a i note of question ' 
(?) before the letters ' L. I.' in all such cases. 

If that doubt remains, however, one thing has been made quite clear 
to me, partly by facts verifiable by the actual entries in E. and partly 
by the testimony of Mrs. Dunn's licence : and that is, that it is not 
safe to take for granted that the real date of any licence whose entry is 
not dated is that of the last dated entry. 

By that rule we should be landed in a strange anomaly by the last 
dated entry on E. (170) as compared with single dated entry on E. (175). 
The last dated entry on E. (170) is < 15 June,' which immediately 
follows one dated ' 10 June '; so that we ought to take every undated 
entry which follows as that of a licence issued on the i$th of June till 
we come to another entry with a date, and that, of course, ought to be 
one later than June 15. Unfortunately, however, the next dated entry 
viz., that on E. (175) is earlier viz., June 13. And then the rule 
would have us conclude that all the licences entered without dates on 
pages subsequent to that were issued June 1 3, though all preceding it 

* It is entered on E. (280) the second line from the top, and reads : ' The house 
of Elizabeth Hopden of Goudhurst in Kent.' 

c Original Records^ 19 

were issued June 15, until we reach that date on E. (181). [Why are 
two dated, when one would serve the purpose ?] 

We are not left to natural inference, however, from such anomalies 
as these. The case of the licence of ' Elizabeth Hopden ' directly con- 
tradicts the rule, and so ' rules it out of court.' The licence is entered 
on E. (280). The last dated entry is on the last line of the previous 
page [E. (279)], and that is dated 'December 9th, 72.' The rule would 
impose that date on this licence as well as on all the undated entries 
which follow. Instead of * Dec. 9 ' we find that, as a matter of fact, it 
was issued ' the Qth day of November? So the rule will not work, and is 
proved to be unsafe. Whatever the probabilities may be, there is no 
certainty in such ' a guide,' and the ' wise ' man will not venture to 
assign any date to a licence whose entry is undated, even if he be hardy 
enough to risk the assertion that the licence having been entered was 
actually issued. 

The facts about the licences belonging to the last two months of the 
year are curious. The only date in November which appears in the 
entries is ' November 18,' the first instance of which [on E. (268)] has 
the date 'November i8 th ' written in the margin in a line with it. 
This date is repeated irregularly in the pages which follow till we 
reach the middle of E. (275), when the margin has 'Decem r y e 9 th 72.' 
In the midst of these we have a notable licence entered viz., 
that of ' Richard Baxter a Nonconforming Minister to teach in any 
licensed or allowed Place ' ; and to this is appended a date not belong- 
ing to November at all, but to October, and, stranger still, to a date 
earlier than the few October entries. All these scattered through 
E. (261) to E. (268) are dated <Octo: 28^,' but Richard Baxter's, on 
E. (272) is dated < Oct. 27. 1672 '! 

Verily the vagaries of the date-entries in this latter part of E. are 
mysteries past finding out ! 

The only suggestion I can make to account for them at all is a 
personal one. Up to June 10 the entries are all dated, and up to that 
date the entries are all duplicated [with the singular exception of those 
pertaining to London !] in Sir Joseph Williamson's Index (I.). 
Beyond that date irregularities commence in E. and all entries in I. 
cease.* In E. not only have we the spasmodic and anomalous dating of 
some entries and a wholesale omission of the date from others, but the 
handwritings vary. Up to June 10 the majority of the entries in E. 
and the whole of the entries in I. are in the handwriting of Francis 
Benson, Sir Joseph's head-clerk, but beyond that date Francis Benson's 
entries are irregular [e.g.) the first eleven entries on E. (194) are in 
another hand, as is the first in E. (196), and Nathaniel Robinson's on 
E. (201), the last two on E. (207), and Richard Sapper's and William 
Clarke's on E. (214), [the same as that on E. (196)]. From the seventh 
line on E. (216) to the first on E. (217) are in the same hand as the 

* The memoranda of application and receipt in 321, also, practically cease with 
that date. There are two dated June 12 [321 (358) and 321 (359)] ; the next three 
are dated June 13; 321 (363) is dated June 14, Beyond that there are only fifteen 
documents, only one with a June date [321 (373)]. 



2O General and Prefatory 

first eleven on E. (194), and so on. . . . [The differences are noted in the 
text]. All this surely suggests that up to June 10 the whole Indulgence 
matter had Sir Joseph Williamson's close and continuous personal atten- 
tion, and that he made the clerical part of the work Francis Benson's 
special task ; but that after that date Sir Joseph's direct superintendence 
ceased, and matters were left in the hand of Francis Benson, who was 
not so impressed with the importance of dating or indexing the entries, 
and so let that part of his work slip, and was glad to delegate some of 
the purely clerical work to his subordinates. 

Was it, then, that in June Sir Joseph left town for his holiday, and 
that on his return he found things so neglected that he did not care to 
preserve the memoranda, and grew careless himself in the details of the 
whole License-business ? 



THEY are the Records of Nonconformity. The original documents 
presented have been selected and published because they record the 
doings and the sufferings of Nonconformists. 

The Episcopal Returns are Returns of Nonconformists ; of Non- 
conformist Ministers and Schoolmasters in 1665 ; of Nonconformist 
Conventicles in 1669; and of Nonconformists generally 'all and 
sundry,' as the pests which plague the parishes and spoil their quietude 
and peace in 1676. The Indulgence Documents deal with the 
licences granted to Nonconformists in 1672. 

But, further, they are Records of 'Early Nonconformity ' ; because 
Nonconformity proper was made in 1662, and documents belonging to 
the fifteen years which immediately succeed it perforce deal with the 
very earliest Nonconformity of all. 

Does any ask: Why not call it Puritanism, since the Noncon- 
formists of these fifteen years were the Puritans of the later Stuart days ? 
The answer is simple : Nonconformity is Puritanism excommunicated 
from the Church and proscribed by the State. 

Puritanism had always had to struggle and to suffer, because 
Puritanism is essentially a protest against the impurities of the Protest- 
antism of the day. In England, Protestantism was more political in its 
origin than religious ; a throwing off the secular yoke of the Pope far 
more than rejection of the religious degeneracies of Rome. It was 
rather a compromise than an insurrection; one object of the formu- 
laries it framed in the Book of Common Prayer being to retain as 
many Roman Catholics as possible within the Reformed National 

Puritanism was the strenuous effort of the more spiritual section 

c Original Records ' 2 1 

of a Protestant people to recover a purer faith and a simpler ritual, by 
accepting more ingenuously the Word of God as the standard of both 
faith and worship. 

Inevitably this inner protest and revolt received no encouragement, 
but only censure and repression, at the hands of the authorities alike in 
Church and State. From its very birth, then, Puritanism has had to 
breathe the air and feel the rod of resentment and of persecution. 

Under Elizabeth it suffered because she could not brook divergences 
in the outward observances of religion, and the standard form which she 
approved and would impose on all was practically that of Edward VI. 's 
second Book of Common Prayer (1552). Divergence from this was 
disregard of her royal will, and such disregard entailed serious conse- 
quences. In matters ecclesiastical she insisted on her supremacy, and 
she was willing to bear the responsibility of even the extrernest measures 
which were taken to enforce her will. 

Under the first two Stuarts, however, it was the Church prelates 
who were the active persecutors, since both James and Charles were 
quite willing to leave all cases of Church discipline to the ecclesiastical 
hierarchy ; Charles especially, in things religious, handing over every- 
thing to Archbishop Laud. 

Throughout these reigns the Puritans were still reckoned members 
of the Church of England as by law established ; eccentric and wayward 
members who had to suffer for their waywardness and eccentricity, but 
still members of the State Church. When any were condemned to 
surfer the extreme penalty of the law, it was because their eccentricity 
was judged to amount to intolerable contumacy and their persistent 
waywardness to rebellion. 

With the successful revolt of the Commons against the arbitrary 
measures of Charles, their status was soon entirely changed. It was now 
the turn of the persecutors to suffer, and of those who had been perse- 
cuted to hold places of influence and power. The Episcopal Church 
was allowed to continue, but only in a sadly mutilated form. The 
Bishops were first banished from the House of Lords, and then their 
very office and authority were abolished. To use the Book of Common 
Prayer was made a penal offence (.5 was the fine incurred upon con- 
viction), and extemporaneous prayer became a central element of public 
worship in every parish church and in all the cathedrals of the land. 
For a time, with the intrusion and alliance of the Scots, the tyranny of 
an Established Episcopal Church was in danger of being replaced by 
the tyranny, more dour and bigoted, of an Established Presbyterianism. 
When, espousing the Stuart cause under young Charles II., the Scots 
broke away into opposition to the Parliament, that danger lessened, and 
with their final defeat at Dunbar it soon altogether ceased. Pres- 
byterianism was a plant which never found congenial soil in England, 
and with the ascendancy of Oliver, church government and religious 
observance assumed a greater variety, and were accorded larger liberty. 

It was in part Presbyterian and in part Congregational ; only spas- 
modically and by stealth was it in any measure still Episcopal. Those 
clergy of the old regime who were Puritan in doctrine were allowed to 

22 General and Prefatory 

retain their livings and to exercise their ministry, provided they were 
willing to dispense with the Prayer Book in their conduct of public 
worship and were able honestly to profess loyalty to the civil authorities 
under the Lord Protector. Those who could not vacated their livings, 
many of them crossing to France, there to await the chances of a 
change ; and all those who were condemned by the Parliamentary 
Commissioners, or by Oliver's ' triers/ as either malignant, inefficient, 
negligent, or of scandalous life, were sequestered, but with the merciful 
reservation of ' the fifth ' of their recent incomes for the relief of their 
widows and children, their places being filled by those who satisfied the 
strict requirements of the new authorities as likely to prove able and 
' painful ' ministers of the Gospel. The steadfast aim of the Protec- 
torate was to provide a ministry scholarly in training, pure in private 
character, sober in their mode of life, wholesome and spiritual in their 
personal influence and in their pastoral care of the parishioners, and 
powerful preachers of the word of God. These were the Puritans 
among the older clergy, and, naturally, all were Puritan among the 
new. If, in seeking to attain this end, some of the worthier clergy 
were displaced who belonged to the old regime, the candid historian 
will not hesitate to call it persecution ; a persecution as real as that 
which the Puritans had suffered in the olden days. All persecution is 
to be condemned as alike a folly and a crime, whether in Puritan or 
Anglican, in Royalist or Parliamentarian. 

After the death of Oliver, the Commonwealth rapidly fell to pieces, 
and within six months the vast majority of the nation were ready, 
under the leadership of Monck, to recall Charles Stuart and to reinstate 
a monarchy alike in State and Church. 

With the Restoration it was inevitable that the Puritans should 
again begin to suffer. With the restoration of the Monarchy in civil 
government, came, by natural sequence, the re-establishment of Epis- 
copacy as the one authorized form of government and the re-instatement 
of the Book of Common Prayer as the one authorized formula for 
public worship. The re-establishment of Episcopacy ipso facto restored 
the Bishops within the Church, with the Archbishops at their head, in 
almost all their old authority and power, and installed Charles II. the 
anointed King as the titular head of the Church of England, with 
power to present or appoint to certain livings which had of old been 
within the royal gift. But the re-establishment of Episcopacy made a 
Bishop the sole source alike of ecclesiastical discipline and deprivation, 
and of valid ordination ; and therefore cancelled most of the sequestra- 
tions made by the Commonwealth authorities, and invalidated the 
appointments of most of those who had been ' intruded ' into the 
sequestered livings. Wherever sequestered clergy, therefore, survived 
the Restoration they (naturally enough) claimed reinstatement in the 
incumbencies of which they had been deprived, and by a special Act of 
the Convention Parliament they were so restored, without a question 
asked as to their personal fitness and past record. 

The * intruded ' Puritans, too, who had replaced them were 
summarily ejected, also without a question asked as to their ministerial 

c Original Records'* 23 

fitness or the quality of the work they had done, and, be it specially 
noted, with no ' fifths ' retained from their stipends for their relief in 
their sudden distress. In places where the sequestered clergy had died 
before the Restoration, however, Puritan ministers were allowed to 
retain their livings if they loyally accepted the new regime in Church and 
State, and were able to satisfy the conditions laid down by Episcopal 
authority. In some cases, it must be admitted, those conditions were 
very rigid. If the ordination of the ministers in question had been only 
presbyteral, some Bishops insisted on their re-ordination by the hand of 
a Bishop ; and if in the ' Interregnum ' they had been pronounced in 
their anti-monarchical and anti-prelatic views, they were required 
publicly to recant them. And there were not a few to their honour 
be it said who would not stoop to such humiliations, and these were 
cast forth as effectively and as pitilessly in 1660 and 1661 as those who 
were afterwards ejected on Bartholomew's Day in 1662. 

The revival of royal patronage, again, put the occupants of quondam 
royal livings, who during the Commonwealth had been appointed to 
them either by Parliament or by the Protector, entirely at the mercy of 
the King. In some cases, where they were known to have welcomed 
the King's return, Charles confirmed their appointment, or if the places 
had been promised others, either by him or his ministers, they were 
transferred to some other living. Otherwise they were ejected almost 
automatically from their benefices. 

Numerous as were these ejectments, however, there was no general 
movement connected with them vitally affecting the religious condition 
of the people. The individual clergy suffered ; but there was no wide- 
spread effort made to retain their public services in irregular ways. Great 
men like Dr. Thomas Goodwin, Dr. John Owen, Richard Baxter, and 
others, were removed from the public ministry to the great loss of the 
nation ; but they were content to accept positions in the families of the 
Puritan nobility, or betake themselves to the advocacy of Gospel truth 
by writing. 

A large proportion of the clergy who remained in the Established 
Church were still Puritan, and continued to do a noble work within her 

This was not to the liking of the restored Episcopals of the pre- 
Commonwealth period. To Royalist statesmen like Clarendon, with 
High Church predilections, and to prelates like Sheldon, who were 
anxious to restore the Laudian regime, the continued presence in the 
Church of these Puritans was irksome and vexatious ; and they soon 
moved Parliament to adopt measures which should purge the Church of 
this (to them) alien element. To * save the face ' of Charles, who had 
taken quite another line in his Declaration of Breda, they consented to 
the Savoy Conference, the overt object of which was to devise some 
scheme of comprehension by which the Presbyterians might find as 
legitimate a home in the Establishment as the High Episcopals. From 
the first it was clear that the Bishops were determined that it should 
turn out a failure. They insisted on all the points to which they knew 
these Puritan Presbyterians had a deep-rooted nay, an ineradicable 

24 General and Prefatory 

conscientious objection : the necessity of Episcopal ordination for 
every minister, the bowing at the name of Jesus in the repetition of the 
Creed, the placing the Communion Table against the eastern wall of 
the chancel as an Altar, and the reception of the elements kneeling at 
the Altar-rail ; the wearing of a surplice and other vestments, which to 
the Puritans were relics of Popery, with the use of the sign of the cross 
in baptism, and the retention of the phrases to which so many ob- 
jected as involving the doctrine of Baptismal Regeneration in the Bap- 
tismal Service ; with the result, fully anticipated and intended, that the 
Conference broke up without effecting anything. 

Now the way was clear : by legislation to secure a unity which was 
thought to be impossible without uniformity. Without delay was 
framed an Act which made the public declaration in the parish church 
of ' unfeigned assent and consent to everything contained in the Book 
of Common Prayer ' by every Rector and Vicar in the land, the absolute 
condition of his retention of his living. 

Driven with ease through the House of Commons, it received 
rougher treatment in the House of Lords. 

To their honour, be it remembered, the Lords would have dropped 
the clause about Episcopal ordination in the case of those already in the 
ministry, and they were eager to insert a clause to reserve < a fifth ' for 
the relief of those who were ejected. The strong wills of Clarendon and 
Sheldon overbore these amendments. They fixed on the Feast of St. Bar- 
tholomew, August the 24th, as the Sunday on which the public declara- 
tion was to be made ; although, on the one hand, the new edition of the 
Prayer Book (to the contents of which they were to declare their 
unfeigned assent and consent), could not be possibly be placed in the 
hands of all the clergy by that day, and although, on the other was it 
not rather because r the tithes (which constituted so large a proportion 
of their stipends), would not become due till a month later, on the Feast 
of St. Michael and All Angels. 

With the immediate result we are all fairly familiar. A host of over 
two thousand five hundred could not make the declaration, and so ipso 
facto were < deprived,' < ejected ' from the livings in which they had so 
honourably and efficiently discharged the high work of the Christian 
ministry. In many cases the parishioners had become so attached to 
their minister, that to have him thus forcibly driven from them, struck 
multitudes in the country with amazement and despair. Inevitably, 
therefore, this wholesale exile had results both on the Church and on 
the nation so serious, so lasting, and so growing that it created a new 
situation, and called into being a new thing. These 'ejected' were, 
from the spiritual standpoint, the Church's choicest and best ; so that the 
' Church of England as by law established ' was seriously impoverished, 
most of the men who took the places of the ejected being universally 
acknowledged to be inferior to the ejected in culture, grace, and power. 

By the personal magnetism they exercised, moreover, the ejected 
drew out with them many of their parishioners, who refused to be de- 
prived of a ministry they so highly valued. So that < churches ' as well 
as * pulpits' were largely emptied by the operation of this Act. 

Original Records* 2$ 

A great body of ministers and people came into being who were 
drawn together by their common loss, and had this one characteristic in 
common, that they could not * conform J in all things to the Church of 
England by law established. Ministers and people alike were made 
'Nonconformists' extruded from the State Church by the action of 
this law, and by this Act were precluded from returning to its fold as 
long as they remained faithful to the conscientious scruples which had 
made it impossible for them to remain. 

It is quite true it was their essential Puritanism which compelled 
them to act as they did ; but it was this legal Statute which made that 
action inevitable. 

Before the Act of Uniformity many Puritans, though with incon- 
venience and occasional sufferings, remained within the Church. From 
the moment when it became law, and so long as it remains unrepealed, 
a growing host of Puritans and their spiritual descendants were and are 
excluded from its borders. By the Act of Uniformity the State Church 
ceased to be the Church of the nation. It created Nonconformity, and 
the hosts of Nonconformity have grown with the growth of years, till 
as successive acts of ecclesiastical bigotry have driven forth fresh 
bands of exiles the Nonconformists of England form more than half 
the nation. 

It is the fortunes of these first Nonconformists, in the fifteen years 
which followed the Act which brought them into being, on which 
these documents cast much interesting and hitherto unpublished light. 
So that it can scarcely be gainsaid that they are rightly described 
as ' Original Records of Early Nonconformity.' 


IN the first chapter we have already seen that these documents have 
great intrinsic value merely as fragments of literary antiquity. As 
materials for history their interest and value are greater still. True, the 
period with which they deal is very brief. It covers only fifteen years. 
The persons whom they principally concern, moreover, as judged by 
ordinary standards, were comparatively uninfluential and unimportant. 
They do not figure in affairs of State, nor do they hold high office 
in Church or Court, in army or navy. They are men and women 
who by the great reaction of the Restoration had been thrust out of all 
places of influence and power, and forced into a background of tem- 
porary helplessness, neglect, and even contempt. Thus it has come to 
pass that the general historian of the English people has ever had but 
little thought to give to them and little space to spare for them. Yet 
they are men and women who in the period immediately preceding it, 
had been in places of eminence and power. That period, I know, it 

26 General and Prefatory 

has been the fashion for historians of both State and Church to treat 
with haughty insolence or to pass over in contempt. The classic 
historian of the Civil War, when between 1642-1647 the nation was 
divided in the great struggle of People against Prerogative, Parlia- 
ment against King, called it the Great Rebellion, and the verdict 
of Earl Clarendon was long accepted as the verdict of history. 
Indeed, for the last two centuries men were content to call the great 
period that followed its tragic issue in thee xecution of Charles Stuart, 
4 the Interregnum ' speaking as little as they dare of its great achieve- 
ments, and drawing a veil as far as possible over its inward purity and 
sober strength, as though England were no real nation, and had no real 
history so long as she had no King. Of the historians of the Church, 
too, all this is truer still. In the great county histories the ecclesiastical 
section for those twenty years from 1642-1662 is almost an utter blank; 
parochial records are interrupted. The splendid spiritual achievements 
of ministers who replaced sequestered parsons are utterly ignored, and 
even in local church records this illustrious succession more truly 
apostolic than that of many who preceded and who followed them is 
unrecorded, and has long run the risk of being quite unknown. 

With the growing demand in recent years for truth, however, in 
history as well as science, and for more thorough historical research, all 
this has changed. The men and the events of the Commonwealth are 
taking their true place in the history of the English people. Carlyle's 
< Letters and Speeches of Oliver Cromwell ' have finally disposed of the 
prejudiced distortions which held him up to contempt as a cruel tyrant 
and ambitious hypocrite, and have established beyond controversy the 
greatness of his soul, the loftiness of his ideals, the absolute sincerity of 
his character, and the magnificence of his achievements, both in the 
government of the people at home and in the uplifting of the nation's 
reputation abroad. Gardiner's * History,' too, has made quite clear to 
any candid student that those days of stress and struggle, upheaval and 
revolution, were days not to be consigned to oblivion as only blurring 
and blotting England's fair escutcheon but days to be held in ever- 
lasting remembrance as 'great' days, which brought into prominence 
and power i great ' men ; men great in the strength of their character, 
in the keenness of their spiritual vision, in the breadth of their purpose, 
and in the genuineness and energy, with which they wrought for the 
abiding welfare of the people. It must be remembered that in the 
period of which we treat most of these men were still alive. Cromwell 
was gone ; and with him that strange but mighty fabric which centred 
in him, and which, it would seem, only his colossal character and his 
resistless will could keep together. 

Milton still lived on no longer, it is true, to command the respect 
of the Continental nations by his great dispatches, as the Foreign Secre- 
tary of England's great Protector ; but in his blindness and seclusion 
to wield an influence still wider, and to be felt by generations then un- 
born, by his still greater poems, ' Paradise Lost' and 'Paradise Regained.' 

The Universities had slipped back into the older hands, which had 
allowed them to become more the playgrounds of the leisured aristocracy 

Original Records ' 

and the hot-beds of high Anglicanism than true schools of learning. Yet 
Oxford's Vice-Chancellor, Dr. John Owen, and Oxford's Don, Dr. 
Thomas Goodwin,* were still living. 

The brilliant cluster of court-preachers whom Oliver had gathered 
round him, in whom the prophet-fires blazed out in rebuke and warn- 
ing rather than in praise and adulations, no longer held high place in 
the City, in Whitehall, and in Westminster ; but John Howe, John 
Goodwin, and Philip Nye, Dr. Manton, Dr. Bates, and Dr. Jacomb 
were all still in London. Richard Baxter with his matured wisdom, 
and John Bunyan with his budding powers, were still alive and 

Indeed, a great host of the best and strongest men in the Church, 
whose teaching had moulded the characters, and whose ministry had 
enlightened and uplifted the masses in those strenuous Commonwealth 
days, were scattered through the community, ejected from their livings, 
extruded from their pulpits, but still the salt of the earth and secret 
saviours of the people. Such are the men and women on whom these 
' Original Documents ' cast so much fresh light, and of whom they 
yield so much fresh information. 

In these days of their repression and obscuration, they were yet an 
integral and influential factor of the nation. To the historian of the 
nation, therefore, they ought to be a subject of great concernment. 

To the historian of Nonconformity and of all free movements in 
mind and spirit they are of priceless value. These men and women 
were the pioneers of all the movements which have taken their rise in 
successive outbursts of Anglican intolerance and bigotry, have driven 
from ' the Church of England as by law established ' so many of the 
most earnest, devout, and energetic of her sons and daughters. Their 
names, even the least of them, deserved to be held in everlasting 
remembrance. Of the very earliest of them, the names, activities, and 
spheres are (directly or indirectly) recorded here. 

As material for gauging the strength and distribution of these early 
Nonconformists, these documents have value ; but as contributions 
towards the formation of a bede-roll of early confessors in this mighty 
movement, they are of greater value still. 

In the Episcopal Returns of 1669 and 1676 we get most help in 
estimating numbers. In the former we have enumerated alike the Con- 
venticles held, and the numbers of men and women that frequented 
them ; and in the latter, the purely statistical tables of a Religious 
Census, whose single purpose is to give directly the number of Non- 
conformists in each parish. The Episcopal Returns of 1665 and the 
Indulgence Documents directly deal only with individuals, so that only 
indirectly and by collation can we gather anything as to collective 
numbers ; but both cast most interesting light on their location and 

Both the Episcopal Returns of 1669 and the Indulgence Documents 
-of 1672, disclose the differences which distributed these early Noncon- 
formists into separate sects or denominations; and on the numbers and 

* He was President, for a time, of Magdalen College. 

28 General and Prefatory 

distribution of these different sects the several regiments of the one 
great Nonconformist army these documents have much to say. 

In forming our estimates and in drawing our conclusions, however, 
there is need of care and discrimination. For this purpose the value of 
the two sets of documents is by no means equal. The Episcopal Returns 
are founded on the reports of the avowed and generally contemptuous 
enemies of the Nonconformists. The Indulgence Documents, on the 
other hand, are many of them written by Nonconformists themselves, 
and in all cases record their freely chosen conduct. In other words, we 
have to bear in mind that (as is implied in the title of this work) the 
Episcopal Returns are Records of Nonconformity under Persecution, 
while the Licence Documents are Records of Nonconformity under 

Now, under persecution, Nonconformists naturally concealed them- 
selves as much as possible from the observation of their persecutors. 
They hid their convictions as far as conscience would allow them ; they 
met by stealth, and they dispersed swiftly and silently on the first 
approach of danger. So that what their persecutors were able to gather 
about them and report, from the very nature of the case, was only a 
fragment of the actual facts, and we must always regard what we gather 
from the Episcopal Returns as an irreducible minimum in regard to the 
strength and extent of the Nonconformity of any given district at that 
time. Moreover, in most cases it would be natural for those making 
returns to shut their eyes to much that they might have seen, and 
shut their ears to much which they might have heard, in order to make 
good their contention that the Nonconformists were a thoroughly con- 
temptible set both in numbers, and station, and character, and so to 
commend their ministerial activities to their superiors, as having largely 
stamped out this accursed pest. 

Under the Indulgence of Charles, on the other hand, the Noncon- 
formists were free. They were free to show themselves without fear 
of consequences. They were free to claim authority to preach and 
worship in whatever way they chose. We might expect, therefore, to 
find larger proof of the strength of Nonconformity in the Licence 
Documents than in the Episcopal Returns. 

Yet, from the very nature of the case, the demand for licences under 
the Indulgence affords a very limited means of judging the strength of 
Nonconformity in 1672. In many particulars, indeed, it furnishes a 
more limited means than the Conventicle Returns of 1669. The 
numbers given are only of two sets of individuals the men who sought 
liberty to teach, and the men and women who sought the Royal 
authority to hold Nonconformist worship in their houses. These 
Licence Documents give no information whatever as to the numbers 
of the congregations. More than that. Of both teachers and house- 
holders, there were many who refused to * desire ' or seek a licence from 
such a sovereign as Charles II., who could grant it only by what was 
really the despotic exercise of an illegal, even though it were a bene- 
volent, autocracy. Rather than obtain relief by means so unconsti- 
tutional as this, many preferred a perpetuation of their disability and 

c Original Records* 29 

suffering under Penal Statutes which, at any rate, were passed by a 
freely elected Parliament. Hence, any estimate of the numbers and 
strength of Nonconformity gathered from these Licence Documents is 
even more undeniably an c irreducible minimum ' than one which may 
be gathered from the Episcopal Returns. 

Of the numbers of the extremer Baptists, for example, and the 
sturdier of the Independents, these documents perforce can give us no 
fair conception ; while of the strength of the Quakers they give us no 
idea at all, simply because on principle they refused to ask of a fellow- 
man (even though he sat upon a throne), a liberty which they claimed 
as the native right of every child of man as a true child of God. 

Of ' Organized Dissent,' again or rather of Nonconformist church 
organization the student will look in vain for materials toward building 
up any connected history. For two obvious reasons. In a period of 
such incessant harassment and persecution the communities which formed 
each conventicle, meeting as they did by stealth and in fear of momentary 
disturbance, could use these stolen opportunities only for the practical 
object of the direct culture of their spiritual life. They had no leisure 
to develop any very definite, much less any elaborate, forms of church 
organization. They might maintain such loose connection with other 
churches of their own faith and order, whether Presbyterian, Con- 
gregational, Baptist, or Quaker, as had arisen in the previous period of 
the Commonwealth ; but the natural tendency was rather to loosen such 
bonds than to cement and elaborate them. That was palpably the case 
with the Presbyterians of the Metropolis and the Eastern Counties. 
The classical presbyteries which had been formulated in theoretical 
schemes during the Commonwealth to a very limited extent had been 
put into practical working ; while the Baxterian Associations (consisting 
exclusively of ministers, without reference to denominational standing) 
which were formed in that period, and were moulded far more after the 
model of our modern Congregational Unions than of Synodal Presby- 
terianism, under the pressure of the repressive legislation of 1662, 1664, 
1665, an d 1670 weakened, relaxed, dissolved, and almost disappeared.* 
Throughout these fifteen years, then, Nonconformist communities, 
whatever their special name or denomination in consequence of their 
isolation practically became Independent churches. 

Of the elementary material out of which the varied Nonconformist 
churches in due time developed, we may gain abundant and most 
fascinating information. 

In the Episcopal Returns we have the fulfilment of Burns's 
humorous prayer 

' Oh, wad some power the giftie gie us 
To see oursels as others see us.' 

Nonconformists are here treated to vivid pictures drawn by the hand 
of clerical reporters, in colours largely tinted by the coloured glasses ot 
Anglican prejudice and contempt of the unlawful assemblies reported, 
both as to their numbers, quality, and c personnel,' whether in their 

* Cf. B. Nightingale's 'The Ejected of 1662,' vol. i., pp. 22-33. 

30 General and Prefatory 

hosts, their abettors, or their teachers ; and in some, as to the character 
and furniture of the buildings in which they meet. 

In the Indulgence Documents, however, we have none of these. 
In their application for licences the Nonconformists unfortunately give 
us scarcely any information on these points. Else we might have the 
other side of the question, and see what estimate they made themselves 
of their numbers, strength, and social position. 

All we have in most cases is the barest description of the building for 
which they desire a licence as a meeting-place, and of the preacher 
whose ministry in it they desire to secure. 

Sometimes the meeting-place is described as an ' outhousing,' or a 
' barn,' and sometimes even as ' a building erected for the purpose,' but 
in the majority of cases it is simply 'the house' or 'a roome or roomes 
in the house' of the would-be licensee. In the case of some more 
formal petitions addressed directly to the King, the form or location of 
the building may be more exactly described ; and, in all, the signatures 
affixed of the principal people in the church or congregation, give us 
incidentally the names of those whom the Episcopal Returns would call 
the ' Principals ' or ' Abettors ' of the conventicle concerned. 

On two points, however, these petitions do sometimes give us explicit 
information which is always absent from the Episcopal Returns. 

I. The petitioners describe the people assembling for worship as 'a 
Church of Christ ' a proof that in all such cases ' a Church ' has been 
'gathered,' embodied, or properly constituted, as distinct from the 
general congregation or fortuitous concourse of people, assembling in the 
building at the time of public worship to join in the c devotions ' or 
to listen to the preacher. In the Episcopal Returns, of course, no such 
information is ever given. The Bishops deliberately ignore the fact 
if indeed they have any knowledge of it that in these Nonconformist 
assemblies there was almost invariably a Church within the Church, 
composed of those who ' professed and called themselves Christians,' as 
men and women spiritually renewed and consciously redeemed by their 
Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ ; and not 'christened' or 'made Christ's' 
unconsciously by the sacramental rite of baptism, or kept in union with 
Christ by consciously partaking of a rite not less mystical and sacra- 
mental (the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper), in which the consecration 
of a duly ordained priest makes the bread and wine convey to the com- 
municant the Body and Blood of the Lord. The Bishops and their 
clergy simply note the illegal assembly of a number of men, women, 
and children, who meet on 'the pretence of worship' in buildings 
other than the parish church, and share a service which has in their 
eyes no spiritual virtue or significance, because its forms are irregular 
and spontaneous, instead of following the rubrics and ritual of the 
Book of Common Prayer.* To them their gathering is only 'a 
conventicle,' made penal by the Act of Uniformity and the Conventicle 

* Indeed, the Bishop of Bristol in 1665 brings himself to confess that when the 
Nonconformist ministers in the county of Dorset meet together in private habitations, 
1 about what ' they meet ' noe man knowes ' [R. 315]. 

c Original Records ' 3 1 

2. In these petitions, too, the teacher is sometimes described as ' a 
minister of the Gospel,' ' our late minister,' and as one who has solemn, 
sacred, ordered functions to discharge. In the Episcopal Returns, 
however, the men who conduct these conventicles are merely * Heads,' 
4 Teachers,' or ' Preachers,' never Ministers or Pastors. For that title 
Episcopal ordination, according to the ritual prescribed in the Book of 
Common Prayer, is the absolutely necessary qualification. By a singular 
lapse, however, the acceptance of such petitions, and the grant by the 
royal head of the Church of their request, was a virtual acknowledgment 
of the validity of their claim ; although it must be admitted that in the 
licences as actually issued, those authorized to conduct the services are 
described as only ' teachers,' as they were in the Episcopal Returns. 

Thus the information that we gather of the assemblies which 
met under the aegis of the Indulgence, is of the very meagrest char- 
acter. We learn simply that there were as many congregations who 
met as there were licensed meeting-places, and that they belonged to a 
certain sect or denomination therein named. 

Indirectly, however, we learn a great deal about individual Noncon- 
formists, some ministers, others laymen, from the applications, letters, and 
receipts presented in Vols. 320 and 321 of the State Papers. In the 
first we have clear testimony to the zeal and the means of those who 
are able to journey to London from their place of residence, sometimes 
distant parts of the provinces, to make personal application for licences 
at Whitehall, and to call at Whitehall to take them away. In many 
cases we gain interesting information about Nonconformist residents in 
London, who have position and influence with the Court, and are willing 
to go to Lord Arlington's office to obtain licences for their friends in the 
provinces ; and this often tells us much of the friendships and connections 
of the would-be licensee, as well as of the character and energy of the 
actual applicant. 

Nor ought we to omit from this general estimate of their value and 
significance to the historical student, the light cast in many cases on the 
topography of London and other cities, towns, and villages in the 
country. The implications contained in many of these documents are 
of distinct archaeological value. 

In fine, one great element of value in these Records is the fresh 
original information they contain touching the personal history, activities, 
and character of the pioneers of this great Nonconformist movement. 
Indeed, in these documents there lies implicit a great bede-roll of 
Nonconformist worthies. 

To elicit that great bede-roll out of the chaos of names these docu- 
ments contain, and to draw it up in the indexes which close Vol. II. 
as well as in the Classified Summary which forms the body of it, was 
no easy task. But it was a labour of love which kept the Editor in 
touch with a company of saints who were also heroes, confessors, and 
martyrs. These men and women were those ' of whom ' by its arro- 
gance and intolerance the Church of England of that day declared itself 
' not worthy.' They were men and women of the spirit, who so firmly 
believed that < where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty,' that they 

General and Prefatory 

could not consent to be tied and bound in their worship by the ritual of 
the Book of Common Prayer. So we find among them not alone the 
clergy who were ejected rather than be unfaithful to conscience on 
that Black Bartholomew, but that noble host of their hearers and 
parishioners who went out with them, exiled themselves from the 
churches and the assemblies which they loved, that they might still 
listen to their leaders, and still enjoy the pastoral care of those whom 
they had found to be true shepherds and bishops of their souls under 
Him, in whose name and spirit they had long ministered. 

These are the true c peerage ' of English Nonconformity. In testing 
the claims of those claiming to belong to the English gentry, and to 
use a crest or coat of arms, heraldic authorities acknowledge validity 
only in the case of those who can establish an unbroken descent from 
soldiers whose names, and arms, and crests are found in one or other of 
the authentic lists of chivalry, who attended the King on some great 
military expedition, were known to be with him on some noted battle- 
field, or jousted in his presence at some historic tournament. Their 
claims are assured, for instance, if they are in the direct descent from 
any who figure in the roll of those with Edward I., on the battlefield of 
Falkirk, in 1298 ; in the roll of Karlaveroc, among the 1,300 who 
attended Edward I. on his third expedition to Scotland ; in the list of 
those who took part at the tournaments at Dunstable, in the second year 
of his son's reign, in 1309 ; in the roll of those who were in the retinue 
of Henry V., at the Battle of Agincourt, in 1415 ; or of those who 
attended Henry VIIL, in the meadows between Guisnes and Ardres, at 
his meeting with Francis I. and the chivalry of France, on the Field of 
the Cloth of Gold, on June 4, 1520. In spiritual matters and for Free 
Churchmen, the day of Black Bartholomew and the years of persecu- 
tion that followed it, as well as the brief twelve months in which Non- 
conformists obtained the aegis of Royal favour, are as critical as are 
battles and tourneys for the chivalry of the English kingdom. The 
clergy ejected in 1662, and the laity who, in the fifteen years of persecu- 
tion which followed, either conventicled with them or joined their 
ranks, are the genuine chivalry of Nonconformity. The documents 
printed in Vol. I. name a vast number of them, and in Vol. II. the 
Editor claims that he has done something towards forming a great roll 
of Free Church nobility. 


THIS Second Part naturally falls into two sections : Section I. dealing 
with the Episcopal Returns, and Section II. with the Indulgence 


Of these Returns there are three sets: those made in 1665, those 
made in 1669, and those made in 1676. 

All of them were made during the period in which the aim of the 
authorities in both Church and State was to repress, and, if possible, to 
stamp out Nonconformity by penal legislation. That gives to them 
all certain elements in common. Each set has characteristic features, 
due to the phase of this legislation with which it is specially connected. 
Each of these calls for separate treatment, so that Section I. will be 
naturally divided into four chapters. Chapter I. will deal with the 
Episcopal Returns as records of 'Nonconformity under Persecution,' 
Chapter II. with the Returns of 1665, Chapter III. with those of 1669, 
and Chapter IV. with those of 1676, in detail. 






IN Chapter III. of Part I. we have seen how the Act of Uniformity 
created Nonconformity. Its object was to purge the State Church of 
Puritanism. We have seen, too, how terribly efficacious it was. At 
one stroke it drove out of the parish pulpits over two thousand five 
hundred ministers, and out of the parish churches a vast multitude 
of their devoted adherents. 

Its authors doubtless hoped that by ejectment, and its bitter conse- 
quences, the ejected would be cured of their Puritanism ; that, silenced 
from any further public ministry, their power to spread it or maintain 
it would be stopped, and that Puritanism would die with them. They 
found instead that the Act made not only many thousand Noncon- 
formist ministers, but many myriads of Nonconformist laymen as well. 

This they soon discovered was a more serious state of things than 
that which had annoyed and vexed them at the outset of their task. 
Instead of being silenced by ejectment, the ministers found their Non- 
conformist flocks gathering round them, pleading with them to continue 
outside the churches the ministry which they were debarred by law from 
continuing within ; and so the State Church was weakened and dis- 
turbed instead of being pacified and strengthened. They had raised a 
ghost that was no mere shadow or phantom. How were they to lay it ? 
They could imagine only one way. They must repress, stifle, and 
stamp it out by force by Penal Statute. 

Although one penal statute (the Act of Uniformity) had created it, 
it was to be starved and killed by others. Only enact penal statutes 
numerous and severe enough, and execute them with sufficient con- 


36 Detailed and Expository 

stancy and firmness, and Nonconformity would be put down, starved 
out, and disappear. 

What are penal statutes, directed against one type of religious life 
and worship, but 'persecution'? The editor has been warned by one 
kind critic of the two volumes which have been already published, that 
he will do well to drop all such phrases as ' pitiless persecutors.' Perhaps 
the critic will supply him with a more fitting epithet for those who 
devised this legislation, and for those who did their utmost to execute it, 
in the hunting out, the cunning surprise, the sudden arrest, the heavy 
fining, and the close imprisonment of those whose only crime was their 

Suppose we grant that the Act of Uniformity as the Act that 
created the offence cannot strictly be called an Act of persecution of the 
offenders, we submit that even according to the most accurate, even 
etymological, meaning of the term, the Penal Statutes of 1664, 1665, 
and 1670 were ' persecuting ' edicts, and Acts of bitter persecution in its 
fullest and most literal sense. They were framed purposely to pursue, to 
harry, to hunt down, to worry, and to penalise Nonconformists out of 
their Nonconformity. 

If this is not 'persecution,' perhaps my kind critic may tell me 
what is. 

The Episcopal Returns were ordered and were made in continuous 
connection with the successive stages of this attempted repression of 
Nonconformity by penal statute. Are they not, then, justly described 
as the Original Records of Early Nonconformity under Persecution ? 

So far I have said nothing of the authors of this policy, the instigators 
of this scheme. The facts are clear enough. Throughout this period, 
with the exception of eleven months, the Nonconformists, lay and 
ministerial alike, were under continuous persecution, which, pace my 
critic, became more and more ' pitiless ' as the years went on. Who 
were their 'persecutors'? 

The answers have been various. 

1. Many without hesitation say 'Charles.' The persecution took 
place in his reign. The penal statutes, which were the engine of perse- 
cution, all received the Royal sanction before they could be placed 
upon the Statute Book of England. Therefore Charles II. was the 
persecutor^ the first and only persecutor Nonconformists have ever had. 

2. Others accept the implication contained in the historic phrase 
which classes the whole series of penal statutes, from the Act of 
Uniformity in 1662 to the Second Conventicle Act of 1670, as the 
* Clarendon code.' Without any close sifting of the evidence, the Earl 
of Clarendon is held to be the ' head and front of the offending,' and 
Clarendon is spoken of as the arch-persecutor of Nonconformity. 

3. Yet a third answer may be given. Seeing that from beginning 
to end it is the supposed interests of the Church of England which it 
was the object of all this legislation to conserve, it is most natural to 
suppose that the Anglican hierarchy with Sheldon at their head were 
at its heart, and were its real inspirers. 

The easiest course, to avoid hostile criticism, would doubtless be to 

Episcopal Returns 37 

say that the responsibility must rest upon all three. In one sense, no 
doubt, that is the truth. Still I do not shrink from the attempt to dis- 
tribute it more carefully, and cannot avoid the conclusion that the 
responsibility is heaviest in the case of Sheldon and his associates, scarcely 
slighter, if at all, with Clarendon, but that it cannot fairly be fathered 
on the King. 

This was undoubtedly the case even with the Act of Uniformity. 
That was a penal statute introduced into a Parliament which was 
predominantly Royalist and Anglican as contrasted with the Con- 
vention Parliament, which had been almost equally Royalist, but also 
strongly Puritan but (to use a modern phrase) one which 'had no 
mandate ' in this matter. It had been framed by the legal ability of 
Clarendon to embody the decisions of Convocation under the lead of 
Sheldon, and it was carried through in spite first of the intentional 
delays, and then of the merciful amendments of the Lords, by the 
strong will of both. Charles did not like it. Rather he was annoyed 
by it, as a measure which he shrewdly judged would delay the pacifica- 
tion of the country. 

Charles was by temperament no persecutor. Such religion as he 
had, touched him so lightly that he had no wish to impose it on others. 
He seems rather to have regarded the religious sense as an awkward 
weakness or caprice of human nature, and as it could not be eradicated 
should be good-humouredly tolerated, and be allowed in everyone to 
take its own form of expression so long as it was not politically 
dangerous. There is no reason, therefore, to question his sincerity 
when in the Declaration he issued from Breda he promised toleration in 
religious matters to all and sundry. If he had r.ny prejudice or prefer- 
ence in favour of one form of religion rather than another, he doubtless 
inherited some real reverence for Christianity from his < martyred ' 
father, along with some ' sneaking fondness ' or some half-instinctive 
preference for the Roman Catholic form of it from his exiled mother. 
Yet he held any preference so lightly that he was quite willing that 
everyone of his subjects should be free to practise whatever form of the 
Christian religion they personally preferred or which a ' tender con- 
science ' compelled them to adopt, whether it were Romanist or Protes- 
tant, Episcopalian or Presbyterian, Independent or Baptist, Arminian or 
Calvinist, Sacramentarian or Quaker, providing that by that toleration 
he could secure the personal loyalty of each to himself, and thereby 
insure a lasting security from having * to take to his travels ' again. 

It is true that he dropped his first Indulgence as easily and more 
readily than he afterwards withdrew his second. Yet these acts more 
really expressed the < bonhomie ' and toleration natural to an easy, 
good-humoured, sensual nature than the penal statutes which his tutor 
Clarendon, under the instigation of Sheldon, with firm pressure com- 
pelled him to sign. Charles repeatedly gave the Nonconformists to 
understand in interviews granted to their leaders (most of them ejected 
clergy resident in London) that these persecuting edicts would not be 
pressed, that the administration and execution of them would be 
mitigated as far as possible, and that personally he was disposed for 

Detailed and Expository 

measures of Toleration if Comprehension of the Nonconformist ministers 
within the pale of the State Church were found to be impracticable. As 
early as the Christmas after the Act of Uniformity had been passed, 
Richard Baxter tells us : 'The King sent forth a Declaration, expressing 
' his purpose to grant some Indulgence or Liberty in Religion. . . . 
' When this came out, the ejected ministers began to think more confi- 
4 dently of some Indulgence to themselves : M r Nye also, and some others 
4 of the Independents were encouraged to go to the King, and when they 
4 came back, told us : That he was now resolved to give them Liberty.'* 

Indeed, it is a significant fact that the whole of these penal statutes 
were effective almost in the inverse proportion to the nearness to the 
seat of Government of the places where it was sought to enforce them. 
In London, at any rate, there was greater security from the operation of 
these penal statutes than in any town in the kingdom. Conventicles 
continued to be held in the city, and in parts of the Liberties of West- 
minster, close to St. James's and Whitehall, { under the nose of the 
4 King,' without disturbance from him, and almost with his connivance. 

The only exception to this state of things was the year following 
the passing of the Second Conventicle Act, when a strong Anglican 
was Lord Mayor, and specially during the absence of the King at 
Dover, where he was entertaining his sister, the Duchess of Orleans, 
and settling the terms of that disgraceful treaty with Louis of France, 
which is known to history as the Treaty of Dover. 

For one brief period of eleven months, it is true, the Nonconformists 
had 'rest' from their persecution; but this we shall see was due 
to the personal initiative and action of the King, when, with the con- 
currence of his Council (the Cabal), he published his Declaration of 
Indulgence. When persecution was resumed, moreover, in 1673, 
resumed, too, with greater energy and bitterness than in the whole 
decade succeeding the Act of Uniformity, it was more clearly than 
before not with Charles's approval, still less through his initiative, but 
simply because his hand was forced by the stronger hand that held the 
purse-strings of the nation. When Parliament met in February, 1672- 
73, Charles readily and cheerfully informed them of his grace and 
favour to the Nonconformists, shown in his Indulgence to the tender 
consciences of those of his loyal subjects who could not in all things 
conform to the Church of England ; roundly told the Parliament that 
he would take it ill if they presumed to interfere with what he had 
done, and strongly advised them to endorse and confirm his timely 
toleration. Parliament was in no mood to meet him in that spirit. 
Charles sorely wanted money to carry on the war with Holland, which 
he had undertaken in pursuance of the plan sketched in agreement 
with the King of France by the Treaty of Dover ; but Parliament was 
resolved not to part with a penny until he had cancelled that Declara- 
tion, in which he had flouted their authority by acting on his own, and 
until he had reinstated in full force the penal statutes, which had been 
passed deliberately in full assembly of both Houses. And so, though he 
had boasted bravely that in this matter he would * stick to his guns,' 

* Reliquiae Baxterianae,' Lib. I., Part II., p. 430. 

Episcopal Returns 39 

they swiftly turned his flank and compelled his abject surrender. He 
broke the seal from the Declaration of Indulgence with his own hand, 
and the penal statutes were put in force with more relentless energy 
than before. 

Many held that licences granted in the eleven months of the Royal 
Indulgence were still valid after the Declaration was withdrawn, and 
that the penal statutes could only be applied to those who had not 
secured a Royal licence. Conventicles, not a few, were therefore 
continued, in spite alike of justices and informers. The point was 
disputed, and not clearly settled in the courts of law ; though the 
preponderant opinion was that in the act of withdrawing the Indul- 
gence the King ipso facto had withdrawn his licences as well. For 
two years no clear understanding was reached. There can be little 
doubt, indeed, that Charles was rather pleased than not with those who 
clung to his Royal licence as an aegis against the shafts of persecution 
when the penal statutes were reinstated ; and, again, his hand had to be 
forced, this time by the Bishops. He had referred the disputed point 
to them, and they urged him publicly to declare that the licences he 
had issued had been recalled. Accordingly, on February 3, 1675, he 
issued such an order in Council ; and, a week later, a Royal declaration 
was published, for enforcing the order made in Council, and 'command- 
* ing the order to be observed in all its points ' (Frank Bates, * Declara- 
'tion of Indulgence,' pp. 140-41). 

Thus the hand of the persecutor was strengthened and all shelter 
removed from the persecuted, so that for the rest of Charles's reign and 
through James II. 's, till the Declaration of 1687, Nonconformists had no 
locus standi whatever, and they preached or worshipped in Noncon- 
formist fashion at their peril, subject, on conviction, to the extremest 
penalties of all the penal laws which had been passed against them. 

It is abundantly clear, therefore, that throughout the quarter of a 
century through which the Nonconformists had to suffer, it was not 
from the pressure of the hand of the King. The Persecution was 
Parliamentary and Ecclesiastical, not Royal. 

That the part which Clarendon played, though so prominent as to 
appear principal, was only secondary, is proved beyond doubt by one 
simple fact. When Clarendon fell from his high position as the chief 
adviser of the King (deposed as effectually by Charles as was Bismarck 
by the young Kaiser in our own day), and fled to France, henceforth to 
live in the isolation of an exile, the persecuting policy which he had 
framed and formulated was not relaxed. It grew not feebler, but more 

Clarendon fled in 1667, tne 7 ear when the first Conventicle Act 
ran out. A second Conventicle Act was passed in 1670, and with 
its more ingenious, though apparently less severe methods, persecution 
became more severe and searching than ever. 

For Sheldon was still in power, and his insistent influence was never 
relaxed ; . . . ?.-id we shall not be far wrong if throughout this section 
we speak of 'Sheldon and his associates' as the active spirits in every 
stage of these first years of ' Nonconformity under Persecution.' 

40 Detailed and Expository 

Sheldon's religious ideal for the nation was Unity of Church Orga- 
nization and Uniformity in Public Ritual, or (as he loved to phrase it), 
' Unity and Uniformity in God's service.' Any breach of the first by 
separation from the Episcopal Church he looked on as the deadly sin of 
schism ; and any marring of the second by the slightest departure from 
the order of service in the Book of Common Prayer he loathed as dis- 
cordance, and was determined to stifle with all the energy of an 
imperious bigot. Indeed, he fondly thought that he could put an end to 
both by making them offences punishable by the law of the land. 

It is just possible that if the punishment had been made severe 
enough, and if the whole executive power of the State, military as well 
as civil, had been employed instantly and constantly to convict offenders 
and execute the penalties upon them to the full, he might have effected 
his purpose. If the penalty exacted had been the death penalty as in 
many periods it was when the Papacy set to work to stamp out the 
heresy of Protestantism and execution had promptly followed con- 
viction, Nonconformity might have been stamped out. 

The history of persecution seems to show that only its severest 
forms have any real efficiency. Wholesale massacres may effect their 
diabolical purpose. Yet even capital punishment unless inflicted 
wholesale does little more than winnow the chaff from the wheat. 
' The blood of the martyrs ' even proves the seed of the Church. The 
Inquisition, by incessant watchfulness and fiendish cruelty, did extirpate 
Protestantism from Spain and the Spanish Colonies. And the Massacre 
of St. Bartholomew, followed a century later by the Revocation of the 
Edict of Nantes, wellnigh destroyed the Reformed Religion in France. 
The persecution of the more stalwart Protestants in England by Mary 
and Elizabeth went far to drive out English Puritanism. Yet anything 
less than the extremest measures universally applied is invariably worse 
than useless. 

Penalties less than capital, such as imprisonment, fine, and social or 
ecclesiastical excommunication, usually multiply the numbers, and serve 
only to purify and intensify the religious zeal of those who have to 
suffer ' for conscience' sake.' 

It was so with Sheldon's campaign against Nonconformity. As with 
so many persecutors, he greatly underestimated the strength of the con- 
victions which brought it into being the force and vitality of a 
'tender conscience.' Each fresh stage of this evil policy only proved 
more clearly its inefficiency, though at each stage he still clung to the 
idea that a little more severity would crown it with success. 

The Returns which he asked for, and which are presented in 
Vol. L, were (we now proceed to show) closely connected with the 
several stages in Sheldon's persecuting campaign. 

The Act of Uniformity, strictly speaking, is not one of the series 
seeing that until it had produced its fatal effects the 'Nonconformists' 
had no separate being outside the State Church. Still it would natur- 
ally have called forth a set of Episcopal Returns, anterior and intro- 
ductory to the other three. Unfortunately for the historical student, 
Gilbert Sheldon did not obtain the Primacy till 1663. Had he been 

Episcopal Returns 41 

elevated to the See of Canterbury at the Restoration instead of Juxon, 
there is little doubt that the series of Archiepiscopal Enquiries and 
Episcopal Returns which are so striking a feature of his tenure of the 
Primacy, would have been prefaced by another in 1663. To a prelate 
of such a systematic order of mind, the advantage of a complete and 
authentic list of those who resigned their livings, or were ejected from 
them on St. Bartholomew's Day, 1662, would have been obvious. 

With such a list before him, it would have been comparatively easy 
for him to keep his eye, and (if need were) to lay his hand upon them. 

Of necessity it took him some time to adjust himself to the new 
position, so that though from the beginning he was at the heart of the 
movement against the Puritans, and the Act of Uniformity which 
turned them into Nonconformists was largely his work, he was not at 
leisure enough to take steps to obtain any systematic information about 
them till 1665. 

Had he obtained such a list and lodged it, like the Returns we here 
reproduce, in the Archiepiscopal archives, they would have been in- 
valuable, as giving first-hand information by which the historical student 
might have tested the completeness of Calamy's list. Not that it would 
have rendered Calamy's researches unnecessary, for Calamy would 
have had no access to them (any more than he had to those now pub- 
lished), such as any accredited research student may now readily secure. 

Here we are glad to take a natural opportunity of making the 
fullest and most grateful acknowledgment of the larger liberality shown 
by the most recent occupants of the See of Canterbury, and of the ready 
courtesy shown to all historical students by the librarians at Lambeth 
Palace. All the documents bearing upon the history of Nonconformity 
which are there preserved, whether printed or in manuscript, are freely 
accessible to the historical student. Every facility is given for their 
thorough examination, and the freest permission given for their 

No Return of the ejected ministers was made by the aged Primate 
Juxon, and no such list was made in 1662 or 1663. We are dependent 
therefore upon the labours of Calamy and Neal as the great martyrolo- 
gists of Puritanism and Nonconformity ; save that, in some cases, the 
parish registers supply first-hand information. Still, in many of these 
the facts are only implied, not stated explicitly ; and, in many more the 
parish records are defective or entirely lacking just at this critical period. 

The first Returns that were demanded by Gilbert Sheldon were 
asked for in 1665, the year following the First Conventicle Act, the first 
of the penal statutes designed to extinguish the Nonconformists created 
by the Act of Uniformity. 

He had fancied, no doubt, that the ejected ministers would not dare 
to continue a ministry outside the establishment which by that Act had 
been made impossible to them within it. Hard facts proved the futility 
of this fancy. The people were as eager for the ministry of their 
pastors after ejectment as they were before, and so the Conventicle Act 
of 1664 was passed 'To prevent and suppress Seditious Conventicles.' 

According to the preamble, it is but a revival of the Act of 

Detailed and Expository 

Uniformity passed in the thirty-fifth year of Queen Elizabeth's reign. 
That Act, entitled 'an Act to retain the Queen's Majesty's subjects in 
'their due obedience' (the preamble to the Conventicle Act alleged), 
* hath not been put in due execution by reason of some doubt of late 
'made, whether the said Act be still in force, although it be very 
'clear and evident ; and it is hereby declared that the said Act is still in 
' force, and ought to be put in due execution.' 

And this Conventicle Act was ostensibly devised ' for providing of 
' further and more speedy remedies against the growing and dangerous 
'practices of seditious sectaries, and other disloyal persons, who, under 
' the pretence of tender consciences, do at their meetings contrive insur- 
' rections, as late experience has showed.' [I presume that this reference 
was mainly to the abortive Rising in the North, which ' fizzled out ' 
with disastrous consequences to the handful of old officers in Oliver's 
army who engineered it, in the autumn of 1663 and the beginning of 
this year 1664. The attempt on Dublin Castle in 1663 could scarcely 
be pressed into the range of this disingenuous argument.] 

Sheldon and his associates knew well enough that ' contriving insur- 
' rections ' or even suggesting the need of political changes, was no 
integral part of the proceedings in these assemblies for worship, which 
were held in private houses only because the parish churches were 
closed against them. They knew that very rarely, and then only among 
the Fifth Monarchy men or it might be, most occasionally among a 
few zealots of the Baptists and Independents had these meetings for 
religious worship betrayed the slightest trace of political animus or 
conspiracy. It is only too clear that it was part of Sheldon's policy to 
' confuse the issue,' and to fasten on Nonconformists, as such, ' seditious 
' designs,' of which he knew perfectly well the vast majority were as 
innocent as ' babes unborn.' By such means political prudence was 
enlisted in a service to which it would have been strongly averse had it 
appeared in its true guise simply as ' persecution,' prompted by prelatical 

The preamble was received, and accepted as genuine and as proved, 
the scheme of repression embodied in this First Conventicle Act was 
endorsed, and the Act itself promptly passed. Aimed at ' Con- 
'venticling' as such, it treated all alike preachers or hearers who 
gathered together for worship other than that prescribed by the Book of 
Common Prayer, and in places other than the parish church, in numbers 
greater than four 'over and above those of the same household.' The 
penalty for everyone present above the age of sixteen, for the first 
offence, was imprisonment for any period up to three months, or the 
payment of such sum of money as the justices or chief magistrate shall 
fine the offender at, up to 5, in lieu thereof (a money payment so 
exorbitant that only those in good circumstances could possibly pay it). 
On a second offence, the period of imprisonment and the amount 
of fine were doubled. These penalties were severe enough, most would 
think. Yet it is clear that Sheldon was not over-confident as to the 
effects of even such severity. The penalty for a third offence was 
transportation for seven years (though be it observed the Act itself was 

Episcopal Returns 43 

to 'continue in force for three years' [only] 'after the end of this 
' present session of Parliament, and from thenceforward to the end of the 
' next session of Parliament after the said three years and no longer '), or 
the payment of jioo. 

For twelve months this cruel Act had full play. Yet the spirit of 
the Nonconformists was unbroken. Ministers and people still gathered, 
and that in numbers greater than before. The authorities became 
alarmed and angry; and in 1665 Sheldon determined , to issue en- 
quiries, which would give him authentic information as to the doings 
of these Nonconformists, specially the ejected ministers. True, in 
issuing ' Orders and Instructions ' for this first set of Returns his osten- 
sible object was the spiritual welfare of his Church and the efficiency of 
his clergy, yet each separate line of his enquiry shows that his eye was 
keener still on the Nonconformist wanderers from his flock, both clerical 
and lay. 

Even so strong a Churchman as Edward Cardwell, Professor ot 
Ancient History and Principal of St. Alban's Hall, Oxford, is compelled 
to admit it. In annotating these Orders and Instructions, reprinted 
verbatim in Vol. II., pp. 270-71 of his * Documentary Annals,' he says : 

'The orders and instructions which accompanied this letter* 
(Sheldon's letter to the Bishop of London) ' had evidently two distinct 
' objects in view, the improvement of the orthodox clergy, and the sup- 
'pression of Nonconformity. The discipline of the Church appears at 
'this time, as indeed might be expected from the recent disorders, to 
' have been in a worse condition than at any other period. However 
' eminent may have been some of the prelates at the time of the Restora- 
' tion, the Church had to contend with these cumulative difficulties, that 
' its opponents among the laity were for the most part men of moral 
'character and religious profession, and its friends were the members and 
' adherents of a dissolute and irreligious Court. A pamphlet, printed at 
'Cambridge in 1663, and entitled, "Ichabod, or Five Groans of the 
' " Church," complains heavily of undue ordination, loose profaneness, un- 
' conscionable simony, careless non-residence, and encroaching pluralities. 

' It is at this period that the word "curate" obtained its modern mean- 
' ing ; and it is now introduced by the Archbishop into his instructions, 
' as a title of a distinct and subordinate office, having previously been 
' applied generally to all pastors and ministers. But though the improve- 
'ment of the regular clergy is made the prominent object of these 
' instructions, it was a point of no little importance to obtain accurate 
' knowledge of the numbers and the residence of the Nonconformists.' 

So of the six points of his inquiry, we find the fourth, fifth, and sixth 
required a Return of the Schoolmasters, Practisers of Physick, and 
Nonconformist ejected Ministers. 

This information would be of great value to the persecutor, by 
enabling him more readily to apply both of the penal statutes already 
passed. Having now a ' directory ' of the ejected ministers and of the 
nonconformable lecturers, teachers of youth and practisers of physic, he 
would know where the conventicles were likely to be held, and would 
be able to set his spies and informers to work to far greater effect. 


Detailed and Expository 

It cannot be doubted that Sheldon looked to the future as keenly 
as he did on the past. In concert with Clarendon, he had already 
drafted that third penal statute, the Corporation, or Five Mile Act, 
which was designed to restrict the area of the influence of the ejected 
ministers, by driving them out of all the large centres of population and 
from their old spheres of ministerial activity, as the Act of Uniformity 
had already driven them out of their pulpits. Indeed it was only suc- 
cessive adjournments (dictated by fear of the Plague in King and Court 
and prelacy alike) which had prevented Parliament from passing it before 
the issue of Sheldon's letter. Parliament had assembled in March, and 
Sheldon's letter was not sent till July, so that continuous sessions would 
have enabled them to push through this Corporation Act before the 
issue of the Primate's * Orders.' Continuous sessions they dared not 
hold when the dread Plague was holding high revel in the City of 
London, and even in the Liberties of Westminster. So Sheldon could 
not wait, and from the seclusion of Lambeth he sent out the Instruc- 
tions, which on their face might be thought to concern the state of the 
Church in general only, or at most, to aid 'officials' to carry out more 
efficiently the spirit of the Act of Uniformity and the detailed provisions 
of the Conventicle Act. 

Had these '65 Returns been complete, and all of them preserved, we 
should have a list of all the Nonconforming ministers who had survived 
the first three years of their exile from the ministry. Of those who had 
died in the interval we should still have no official information. As we 
shall see later, however (Part II., Section I., Chap. I.), what has been 
preserved is unfortunately the merest fragment of the whole. 

Made in 1665, what we do possess gives us also incidental infor- 
mation as to the working of the First Conventicle Act (1664) ; since 
the ejected ministers were held to have committed a breach of 'the 

* peace as regards Church and State ' if they held ' unlawful assemblies 

* for public worship,' or, in other words, if they conducted conventicles as 
defined in this First Conventicle Act. In fact, the inference is so 
natural as to be almost irresistible, that Sheldon ordered these Returns 
very largely that he might gather and tabulate authentic information as 
to the working of these two penal statutes (the Act of Uniformity, and 
the First Conventicle Act). Surely, however, that is not the whole 
truth about them. 

There is scarcely any room for doubt that his eye was quite as much 
on the provisions of the Corporation Act, whose passage through Parlia- 
ment he knew well enough was only delayed. That Act was to make 
it illegal for any minister, not strictly * conformable,' who would not 
take the Oxford oath, to live in any 'city, or town corporate, or 

* borough that sends burgesses to the Parliament,' or even ' to come or 
'to be ' within five miles of any such city, town, or borough ' unless 
' only in passing upon the road.' There is no doubt that the informa- 
tion furnished in return to these enquiries of Sheldon would be of great 
value to officials in carrying out this ingeniously contrived and most 
oppressive measure. In the preamble to the Act, the description of the 
persons to whom the Act was to apply was so comprehensive as to 
include all those who would be reported in the '65 Episcopal Returns. 

Episcopal Returns 4.5 

Every 'parson, vicar, curate, lecturer, and other person in holy 
' orders ' who had ' not declared their unfeigned assent and consent to the 
1 use of all things contained and prescribed in " The Book of Common 
' " Prayer," etc., and had not subscribed the declaration or acknowledg- 
' ment prescribed by the Act of Uniformity ; and every person or persons 
' not ordained according to the form of the Church of England who had 
' taken upon them to preach in unlawful assemblies, conventicles, or 
1 meetings under colour or pretence of exercise of religion, contrary to 
' the laws and statutes of this kingdom,' came under the ban of this Act ; 
and to obtain lists of these people (ministers not properly ordained, un- 
satisfactory curates, Nonconforming teachers and physicians as well as 
ejected Nonconformist clergy), was the precise object of Sheldon's 
Orders and Instructions. So unquestionable was this forward look in 
the enquiries, that the candour of Cardwell cannot but acknowledge it.* 

So clear is it that the first of this series of Returns had regard to the 
persecution of Nonconformists, though of course the persecutors would 
have used the euphemism, ' their restraint and suppression,' in place of 
the plainer word ' persecution.' 

It becomes as clear, also, on the slightest investigation, that it was 
the same with the Returns which Sheldon ordered in 1669. 

By a singular coincidence the Conventicle Act lapsed the very year 
of Clarendon's downfall. As we have seen, it was to continue in force 
for three years after the end of the Session of Parliament in which it 
was passed, and thereafter to the end of the next ensuing session of 
Parliament. It was passed May 17, 1664, and the Session was ter- 
minated by a Proclamation of Prorogation on July 15. 'Three years 
'thereafter' ran out, therefore, on July 15, 1667, not a month after the 
Dutch War was ended by the Peace of Breda. Parliament met on the 
25th, but was prorogued to October 10, and then they particularly 
thanked the King for displacing the Lord Chancellor Clarendon ;f and, 
after passing an Act for the banishment of the Earl of Clarendon, they 
adjourned on December 19. This was scarcely necessary as Clarendon 
had absconded on November 30, going into an exile in France, which 
ended only with his death in 1674. 

By the letter of the law, therefore, the Conventicle Act lapsed only 
a few weeks after the same Parliament which passed it had pronounced 
the sentence of banishment on the man who, next to Sheldon and the 
Bishops, had had most to do with its passing into law, viz., in mid- 
December of 1667. 

* The same note, which I have already cited, goes on to observe about the 
Nonconformist ministers : 

'They had given offence to the Government by opposing the war which was then 
' carried on against the Dutch, and it was determined to subject them to new and 
' effectual restraints. The Parliament had assembled in the month of March ; but, 
1 owing to the breaking out of the Plague, had been several times prorogued, and 
met eventually for the dispatch of business at Oxford in the month of October. On 
' the 4th of that month was brought in the bill ' ' for suppressing unconforming 
" ministers and schoolmasters " which imposed a strict oath upon them, and such 
' limitations respecting residence, as have since given it the name of "the Five Mile 
' ' ' Act. " The Archbishop's instructions as to non-conformists, bearing date the jth of 
4 July, would seem to have been given in anticipation of this memorable act, and for 
1 the purpose of making it effectual as soon as it was passed.' 

f This he had done on the 3ist of August. 

4 6 

Detailed and Expository 

When Sheldon issued his next set of enquiries, therefore (in June, 
1669) enquiries which concerned Conventicles the Conventicle Act 
had been out of active operation for a year and a half, but the Corpora- 
tion, or Five Mile Act, had been in active operation little short of 
four years. 

The Conventicle Act had done little to suppress Conventicles, 
though in many parts of the country both the ministers who had con- 
ducted them, and the brave laity who had frequented them, had suffered 
much at the hands of persecuting Anglicans, and the hardships of 
ministers had been much increased by the Five Mile Act in districts 
where it was made an effective statute. Though there is no denying the 
fact, whatever may be the explanation of it, that neither of these penal 
statutes had much effect in the precincts of the City of London, in the 
Borough of Southwark, or the Liberties of Westminster. 

In the State Papers (Domestic Series) there is proof that the Court 
and City officials kept watch upon the Conventiclers. Reports given in 
by spies and informers are preserved, which show that the authorities 
had knowledge of a number of Conventicles held in the years 1664 and 
1665 in the precincts of the City; but there is no proof that any 
number of those reported were arrested and penalised, either by fine or 
imprisonment. And it is certain that the two terrible calamities which 
overtook the Metropolis in the years 1665 and 1666 the Great Plague 
and the Great Fire operated, as though by Divine appointment, to 
shield the Nonconformists in it from their persecutors, by diverting 
their thoughts from the congenial work of persecution to the more 
absorbing anxieties and fears for their own personal safety. Indeed, the 
Plague and Fire did more than that. The heroism of the ejected 
ministers in ministering to the victims of the Plague in 1665, and to 
homeless thousands amidst the ashes and ruins of the Great Fire in 1666, 
so impressed the public in their favour to the deserved disparagement of 
the Established clergy, that neither the Conventicle Act nor the Five 
Mile Act could find men sufficiently at leisure from their personal 
anxieties and fears to set these Acts in motion, either in the Ecclesiastical 
Courts or the Courts of Law (whether at the Petty Sessions or Assizes). 

One of the most startling facts in connection with the Episcopal 
Returns of 1665 is that for London, where the number of ejected 
ministers who had fled from persecution in the provinces was so great, 
there are no Returns at all ; and there is no proof whatever that, in more 
than two or three instances, the Five Mile Act was put into operation 
in London or its suburbs. 

Had Humphrey Henchman only made his Returns for the Diocese 
of London as complete as Seth Ward's is for Devon and Cornwall, we 
should have had a volume of information exceeding in interest and 
historic value the whole of the Returns for the rest of England. In 
the two years over which his enquiries would have been extended, 
the parochial clergy had deserted their posts, and had made no attempt 
to send in any reports at all. So that instead of finding in Vol. 639 of 
the Lambeth MSS. the most suggestive and illuminating information 
about the Nonconformist ejected ministers in and about the City of 

Rpiscopal Returns 4.7 

London, the Liberties of Westminster, and the Borough of Southwark, 
and that circle of suburban hamlets and villages which clustered so 
thickly even in 1665 within a radius of five miles of London, the 
historical student finds an absolute blank ; and that for reasons which 
would certainly favour the further growth of conventicles in number 
and influence, and multiply the number of ejected ministers who would 
find refuge in the Metropolitan area. There can be no doubt that 
the Great Plague and the Great Fire, Clarendon's fall, and the lapse of 
the great persecuting Act, conduced considerably to the growth of 
Nonconformity in the London area in the years that followed 1667. 

The policy of persecution was manifestly failing once more all over 
the country. Conventicles and Nonconformist ministers were increasing 
in numbers. Their meetings were more open and more frequent. 
Despite the promises of the false and fickle King, the persecutors got 
little encouragement ; whereas the persecuted, being practically un- 
molested, waxed stronger. 

We need not wonder, then, that in 1669 Sheldon had come to 
realize that unless something further were done, he would have to con- 
fess himself baffled and defeated. 

Palpably, again, Sheldon's own action in asking for Returns of 
Conventicles was intimately connected with the more stringent courses 
which he was now urging only too successfully both upon Parliament 
and the King. He issued his Orders or Enquiries to the Bishops in 
June. A fresh Declaration was published by the King in July ; and 
by April of the following year, 1670, the Second Conventicle Act 
became the law of the land. 

There is no need at this point to give the text of Sheldon's circular 
letter, as it will be found in the chapter specially dealing with the 
Episcopal Returns of 1669 (Chap. III.) ; but it should be noted that 
in its preamble he frankly confesses alarm at ' the continual reports ' 
which reach him c on all hands of the frequency of conventicles and 
* unlawful meetings,' many of them c open,' to say nothing of the still 
greater number which met by stealth and in secret. 

No less significant is the exaggerated emphasis which he lays upon 
the King's disavowal of sympathy with the Conventiclers. We feel 
inclined to say : c Sir, thou dost protest too much.' The conversation 
cited by him was evidently engineered quite in the fashion of a modern 
press interview, so as to lead up to a denial much more definite and dis- 
tinct than Charles ever intended his words to convey. The prelates, 
however, were bent on working the Royal words to the uttermost, and 
the leading question which Sheldon inserts in his Enquiries : ' From 
< whom, and upon what hopes, they look for impunity ?' is evidently 
intended to elicit answers which will test the value of the King's 

How closely the King was pressed by Sheldon is palpable enough 
from the following facts : 

I. Bishop Kennett notes in June, 1669 (the very month in which 
Sheldon issued his Enquiries) : ' An Order of the King in Council to 
4 the Bishops, to take a strict Account within their respective Dioceses 

Detailed and Expository 

'- what Conventicles are held contrary to Law, and who are the 
' Teachers ' showing how the Primate had succeeded in fathering his 
own little project on the King in Council. 

2. The month of July saw other measures taken, which forced the 
King to make a public proclamation. 

On the 6th, the Judges attended the Lord Keeper to consider 'what 
Statutes are now in force for the suppressing of unlawful Conventicles'; 
and three days later (July 9) ' the Judges gave in their opinion in writing 
to the Council concerning unlawful meetings and what Laws were now 
in force against them ' evidently calling the attention of the authorities 
to the lapse of the Conventicle Act of 1664. Exactly a week after 
this judicial Report, the King issues a Proclamation * to put the Laws 
' in Execution for the suppression of Conventicles, and particularly to 
'proceed against the Preachers, according to the Statute made the iyth 
4 of his Majesty's reign, entitled " An Act for restraining Noncon- 
'"formists from inhabiting Corporations";' and Kennett's descriptive 
notice of it runs: 'Issued upon several Informations given in to his 
' Majesty that Those who separate themselves from the establisht 
'Worship, do meet in greater Numbers than formerly to such a degree 
'as may endanger the Public Peace, by which his Majesty could not 
' but take notice how far his known and still avowed Easinesse to 
' Indulge tender Consciences is abused thereby. 

'Given at Whitehall 16 July Ann regni 21 1669.' 

The full text of the Proclamation, as given by Wilkins in his 
'Concilia' (Vol. IV., 588), makes clearer than any partial description 
can do the alarm of the Prelates, and the astute way in which they 
managed to put their views and aims into the King's mouth. 

' A Proclamation against numerous Conventicles, 


' Forasmuch as information hath been given us from several parts of 
the Kingdom that those who separate themselves from the established 
worship, do meet in greater numbers than formerly, to such a degree 
as may endanger the public peace, with which we cannot but take 
notice also how far our known and still avowed easiness to indulge 
tender consciences is abused thereby ; wherefore, by the advice of our 
privy council, we have thought fit to issue this our proclamation 
straitly charging and commanding all our justices of the peace within 
the limits of their several jurisdictions, where they shall find any such 
meetings to be held that they put the laws in execution for suppression 
thereof, and particularly proceed against the preachers, according to 
the Statute made in the seventeenth year of our reign, entituled, " An 
" Act for restraining nonconformists from inhabiting in corporations." 
'Given at our court of Whitehall this i6th day of July in 
the one & twentieth year of our reign, MDCLXIX' (1669). 

Nor is it long before they persuade the Parliamentary leaders to take 
the further step of passing a second Conventicle Act, an Act which 
was not simply to reinstate the Act which had lapsed, but in several 

Episcopal Returns 49 

points, go further. They began the process in February, still according 
to the old style in the year 1669, though we should call it 1670. 

The simple chronological notes of Bishop Kennett (Landsdowne 
MSS., 1023), tell their own tale. [They are largely extracts from the 
contemporary notes of Seth Ward, Bishop of Sarum] : 

' February 17. Order in the House of Commons to bring in a Bill 
for Suppressing Conventicles. 

* March 9. The Commons pass'd the Bill for Suppressing Con- 
venticles and sent it to the Lords. 

'March 10. M r Treasurer acquainted the House of Commons that 
upon attending his Majesty with their Votes and Desires for Sup- 
pressing Conventicles and putting the Laws in Execution against the 
Papists, his Majesty was pleased to declare that effectual Course should 
be taken w th Both. 

'March 25. Pro tempore the Bill against Conventicles passed the 
Grand Committee of the whole House of Lords, before the passing of 
the Proviso concerning the King's Supremacy. 

' The King called to me ' (the Bishop of Sarum) ' and told me that 
he desired that the Proviso might pass, for this reason ; that the Bishops 
and all his friends might see that he would take care of them and of 
the Nation in the strict execution of that Act with which he would not 
dispense.' [A singular statement in face of the fact that within two 
years from that date he had published his Declaration of Indulgence, by 
which he dispensed with all the penal statutes by suspending them]. 
Ward adds in Latin : * He said the same to the Bishop of London, to the 
Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, and others,' and continues : ' He com- 
manded me to let the Bishops understand so much ; which I did : and 
the Proviso passed without opposition, His Royal Highness' (i.e., James, 
Duke of York) ' having declared the same things rxiblickly in a speech 
in the King's presence.' 

'March 28. The Proviso was rectified in the House of Commons, 
and all dangerous passages left out.' 

Kennett's notes put the last fact rather more fully than Bishop Ward : 

'March 28. The Bill for Suppressing Conventicles was sent back 
to the House of Commons, who agreed to several Amendments of the 
Lords, but adher'd to their Paragraph of making above five an 
Unlawful Assembly.' 

The last note in the series is : 

' March 30. The Commons had a Conference with the Lords 
managed by Sir Heneage Finch, who gave the Reasons for their 
Adherence and Amendments in the Bill to suppress Conventicles.' 

The connection between these Episcopal Returns and both the 
Royal Proclamation and the Second Conventicle Act is obvious. As to 
the Royal Proclamation, the Returns would give information as to 
where and when Conventicles might be discovered, and the Conven- 
ticlers arrested ; and giving the names (and often the usual residence) 
of the Teachers or Preachers would give facilities for their appre- 
hension and penalizing. 

A careful consideration of the new features of this Second Con- 


50 Detailed and Expository 

venticle Act, leads us irresistibly to the conclusion that these Episcopal 
Returns were deliberately designed to furnish an instrument for the 
facile execution of this fresh Edict of Persecution. 

The points in which it differed from the First were six : 

1. The definition of the term 'Conventicle ' (or 'unlawful assembly') 
was extended so as to apply to meetings ' out of doors.' 

In the First Conventicle Act its phraseology seemed to contemplate, 
and directly to recognize, only meetings held in private houses, within 
the closed doors of an inhabited house ; as a Conventicle was constituted 
only wiien there were present at the worship five persons or more, above 
sixteen years of age, ' over and above the members of the household.' 
So that if the persons assembled within the house were warned of the 
approach of the legal officers in time to leave the premises, and meet in 
the woods, in a glen, or on the open moors near the house, it might be 
argued, as it was (on more than one occasion), that there was no 
c Conventicle ' according to the letter of the law however many were 
gathered together in these other places. In this Second Act, however, 
this possibility is expressly foreseen and provided for, as the alternative is 
added : c Or if it be in a house, field or place, where there is no family 
4 inhabiting,' there is still a Conventicle, wherever ' any five persons or 
' more are assembled for worship in other manner than according to the 
4 liturgy and practice of the Church of England ' ; in other words, 
except in a house, only four persons were allowed to meet ; /.*., one 
preacher and three hearers. 

2. The penalties for breach of the Act are altered in their amount 
and in their incidence. 

(1) In the First Act, the penalty is imprisonment for the first 
offence, up to three months ; and for a second, or any further offence, 
up to six months ; the only alternative being the payment of a fine up 
to the amount of .5 for the first offence and up to the amount of ^10 
for a second ; and that for any offender whatever, whether preacher or 

In the Second, the penalty is a fine imprisonment being only the 
alternative where the money-fine cannot be got. 

(2) Further, there is a great difference made between the preacher 
and the hearers. 

(a) In the case of the hearers, it is very much less : only five shillings 
for the first offence, and ten shillings for the second for each person ; and, 
in case of non-payment, distraint of goods up to the value of the fine. 

(b) For the preacher, however, the fine is made much higher. 
Instead of the 5 per offender (levied on all equally), for the first offence 
it is 20 ; and for the second, and any subsequent offence, the enormous 
sum of ^40, to be followed by distraint of goods in case of non-payment. 

In addition to this discrimination, there was inserted an ingenious 
device for securing the money, by working upon the cupidity of possible 
informers. In case of poverty making the payment of the fine impos- 
sible either directly, in cash, or by distraint upon the goods of the 
offender which, of course, would be the case in the greater majority of 
offenders (both hearers and teachers), the justice of the peace (before 
whom the cases were brought), was empowered to select anyone ot 

Episcopal Returns 5 i 

those present at the Conventicle of sufficient means and substance, and 
call upon him or her to pay for his or her poorer fellow-worshippers, 
and in case of refusal, to distrain his or her goods and chattels for fines 
which could not otherwise be obtained up to the sum of 10. 

(c) And a third distinction is made amongst those who infringe the 
Act. The owner of the house in which the Conventicle is held is to 
be dealt with by the same rule, and fines imposed on the same scale as 
the teacher. ^20 is exacted for the first offence, and .40 for any 
subsequent one. The money was leviable either directly or indirectly 
from the offender personally, or from some well-to-do person who 
was worshipping as guest. 

3. The agents employed for the discovery of the offenders. 

(i) By provision for their reward, a new and particularly odious class 
of men was brought into existence viz., spies, disguised as adherents, 
and c informers.' 

4. The ' powers ' employed for the suppressing and dispersion of the 
Conventicles, and their arrest and punishment in case of surprise. 

In the First Conventicle Act the only persons looked to were the 
civil magistrates of the district, with their subordinates, and the church- 
wardens and clergy of the parish where the Conventicle was held. In 
this Second Act, however, express provision is made for calling in the 
armed forces of the Kingdom, in case the Conventicles cannot be sup- 
pressed by ordinary civil and ecclesiastical authority. Any one justice 
of peace could compel the assistance of the militia or any other of His 
Majesty's forces. 

5. In the disposal of the fines, too, a difference is made, with the 
clear design of enlisting the interest of King and commoner alike in an 
active prosecution of the Act. 

In the earlier Act the fines (where paid to avoid imprisonment and 
the cases would be very few indeed) were to be paid to the churchwardens 
of the parish where the offender did last inhabit, for the relief of the poor. 

In this later Act the fines levied whether from rich or poor 
were to be pooled and divided into three equal parts : 

One-third was, as before, for the relief of the poor. 

One-third was paid into the King's exchequer. 

One-third was the spoil of the informer, through whose ' diligence 
' and industry ' the Conventicle was discovered and the Conventiclers 

* The sums secured were brought to the Assize Courts by the constables or 
churchwardens who had levied the fines and handed over to the presiding magis- 
trate. The Court then 'ordered' the several 'third parts' to be paid to these several 
officials according to the terms of the Act. 

The Sessions Books of all municipal corporations must contain a vast amount of 
matter which would be of great historic valueito the historian of Nonconformity. By 
the courtesy of the Town Clerk of Bristol I was able to verify the truth of this state- 
ment as to that city. Under date 16 October, 1670 ' (just six months after the passing 
of the Second Conventicle Act), I came upon several entries like the three following : 

Paid into Courte 

By Jno. Clarke, Chiefe Con ble of the parish of Christchurch : 
five & twenty shillings for the offence of Nathaniell Day, 
whereof 8s. 4d. due to his Mato (was) delivered to M r Sher(iff) Day, 
and 8s. 4d. ... to Sir Rob*- Yeoman for the Informer, 
the other third part to the poor. ' A 2 

Detailed and Expository 

6. The conduct of officials in carrying out the Act. Under the 
terms of the First Conventicle Act their zeal was taken for granted. As 
representatives of the law of the land, it was presumed that they would 
do everything in their power to make the Act effective, by inviting and 
gathering information of these < illegal assemblies ' with eagerness and 

In the six years since its enactment, however, so many of the 
justices and magistrates were found to be in league with the Con- 

' By Chiefe Con blc of St. Stephens : 

55. for the offence of Ezekiell Fogg. l 

53. for the offence of the wife of Francis Baily, 

55. for the offence of Mary Baldwin, 

55. for the offence of Edw. Byfeild, 

whereof 155. was delivered to M r Sher. Day, 

153 to S r Ro: Yeomans for the Informer, 

& another ^ [153.] for the poore of St. James.' 

' Received of the Constables of St. James : 

lv s (553.) for the offence of Jo n Cumberland. 

153. for the offence of Will. Rogers. 

53. for the offence of Rich d Christmas. 

55. for the offence of his wife. 

55. for the offence of Thomas Ellis. ' 

These last amounts make a total of 855. , and a third part of this would amount 
to 283. 3d. ; but to make the division come out in even figures they dock the poor of 
35. 3d., and give is. gd. to the King and the Informer above their due ; for we read : 


303. [was] delivered to M r Sher. Day [for the King], 

303. was delivered to Sir Rob fc Yeomans for the Informer, 

and 253. to the poore of St. James. ' 

Turning the pages of these Session Books ten years after the withdrawal of the 
Indulgence, I came upon this : 

'6 Aug., 1683. Whereas mony levied on sevall .psons on conviction for Con- 
venticles was brought into Court by S r Thomas Earle and delivered to the Town 

' Ordered that these 2 bags be delivered to the Sheriffs, and that they issue out 
20 lb to M r Ralph Oliffe, 

M r Thomas Lugge, 
M r John Tilly & others, 
the said f>sons claiming a third part of that money as Informers.' 

And a year later, upon this : 

' ii July, 1684. It was reported that 42 was ready to be delivered pursuant to 
the Conventicle Act. 

' Brought into Court a bag sealed supposed to contain 42 lb I s , being the mony 
levyed on sev r all persons for being at a Conventicle 4th May last in Tuckey's house : 
viz: on the goods & chattels of 

D. Tucker, Tho. Pope & ux. , Ald n Dolman & ux. 
on which were Informers 

Tho: Lugg & Tho: Hynor, Jn Hoare & W. Watkins. 
4 It is Ordered 

That the mony be taken againe to the Mayor, and disposed of according ta 
the Act.' 

1 This Ezekiel Fogg must soon after have left Bristol for London, for in 1672 he 
secured a licence as a Congregational teacher as of St. Pulker's, London that is, 
as a parishioner of St. Sepulchre's, Snow Hill. The licence entry [on E. (278)] is 
undated, but belongs to the month of December. 

Episcopal Returns 53 

venticlers (by connivance, if not actual encouragement), that in this 
Second Conventicle Act a special clause was inserted, which was 
intended to create a zeal where it did not exist and quicken it where it 
was lukewarm. Any justice or magistrate who was reported as slack in 
the discharge of these duties was liable to a penalty of 100, and any 
subordinate to a fine of ^5. 

Now of these six points, the first, fourth, and last, are concerned 
mainly with a more vigorous and effective prosecution of the Act. 

For the application of the other three, the Episcopal Returns are 
clearly designed to give the special information the Act required. It was 
the three classes of offenders specially selected for fleecing under the 
New Act, of whom these Episcopal Returns gave the names in three 
out of the five columns in which the precis of the Returns were arranged 
viz., the owners of the houses where the conventicles were held, the 
well-to-do persons who frequented them, reported as c Abettors,' as those 
out of whose pockets or property the fines imposed were in the last resort 
to be obtained, and the Heads, or Teachers, who conducted the worship 
and preached the sermons.* 

Nor could anything more faithfully reflect the whole spirit of the 
new Act than the fourth column in its cynically ' financial ' meaning. 
Headed ' Quality,' in many instances, it frankly adopted as its standard 
nothing touching life or conduct or character, but simply and purely the 
j s. d., which it was the object of the Act to extort from those who 
still dared to obey their consciences rather than a Parliamentary Statute. 
Thus intimately were these '69 Returns, then, connected with the per- 
secution of Nonconformists. So clearly were they intended to prove 
the disastrous effects of the lapse of the First Conventicle Act, to 
prepare for the Second, and to aid its application. 

Nor could we have a clearer proof of Sheldon's sense of triumph 
when the Act was passed than the letter he sent out in May, 1670. It 
is printed verbatim in Wilkins's c Concilia' (Vol. IV., 589) : 

' The archbishop of Cant, letter with the King's directions. 


Gilb. Sheldon, 8 1670 Carol. II. 22 

< The archbishop of Canterbury's letter to the commissary, the dean, 
and archdeacon of Canterbury concerning the King's directions to the 
clergy Ex autographo penes Thorn, episc. Assaven. 


'It having pleased his majesty and the two houses of parliament, 
out of their pious care for the welfare of this church and Kingdom, by 
making and publishing the late Act for preventing and suppressing con- 
venticles, to lay a hopetul way for the peace and settlement of the 
church and the uniformity of God's service in the same ; it becomes us 
bishops, ecclesiastical judges, and clergy, as most particularly sensible of 

* But see more fully cap. iii. 

54 Detailed and Expository 

the good providence of God, to endeavour as much as in us lies, the 
promoting of so blessed a work. And therefore having well considered 
what will be proper for me in my place to do, I have thought fit, and 
do hereby recommend unto you as my commissioners jointly and 
severally, these counsels and methods which I desire that, in my stead, 
throughout my particular diocese of Cant., as well in places exempt as 
not exempt, you will pursue ; and which I have also, by my letters, 
given in charge to all the rest of my brethren the bishops of my province, 
being thereunto encouraged by his majesty's approbation and express 
direction in this affair. 

4 In the first place, therefore, I advise and require you, that you will 
call before you not only all officials, registers, and other ecclesiastical 
officers within my diocese ; but that also, by such means, and at such 
places as you shall judge most convenient, you assemble before you or 
some one or more of you the several parsons, vicars, and curates of my 
diocese and jurisdiction within their several deanries ; and that you impart 
unto them respectively, as they shall come before you, the tenor of these 
my letters, requiring them in my name that, in their several capacities 
and stations, they all perform their duty towards God, the King, and the 
Church, by an exemplary conformity in their own persons and practice 
to his majesty's laws, and the rules of the church in this behalf. 

4 Secondly, I advise, that you admonish and recommend to all and 
every of the parsons, vicars, and curates within my said diocese and 
jurisdiction, strictness and sobriety of life and conversation, checking 
and punishing such as transgress, and encouraging such as live orderly ; 
that so, by their virtue and religious deportment they may show them- 
selves patterns of good living to the people under their charge. And 
next, that you require of them, as they will answer the contrary, that in 
their own persons, in their churches they do decently and solemnly 
perform the divine service by reading the prayers of the church as they 
are appointed and ordered in and by the book of Common Prayer, with- 
out addition to, or diminishing from the same, or varying, either in 
substance or ceremony, from the order and method which, by the said 
book is set down, wherein I hear and am afraid, too many do offend ; 
and that in the time of such their officiating, they ever make use of and 
wear their priestly habit, the surplice and hood ; that so by their due and 
reverent performance of so holy a worship, they may give honour to 
God, and by their own example instruct the people of their parishes 
what they ought to teach them in their doctrine. 

' Thirdly, having thus counselled the ecclesiastical officers and clergy 
of my diocese in their own particular duties, you are further desired to 
recommend unto them the care of their respective jurisdictions and 
charges, that in their several places they do their best to win all Non- 
conformists and Dissenters to obedience to his majesty's laws, and unity 
with the church ; and such as shall be refractory, to endeavour to reduce 
by the censures of the church, or such other good means and ways as 
shall be most conducing thereunto. 

' To which end I advise that all and every of the said ecclesiastical 
judges and officers, and all and every of the clergy of my diocese, and 

Episcopal Returns 55 

the churchwardens of every parish, by their respective ministers be 
desired in their respective stations and places, that they take notice of all 
Nonconformists, holders, frequenters, maintainers, and abettors of con- 
venticles and unlawful assemblies, under pretence of religious worship, 
especially of the preachers and teachers in them, and of the place wherein 
the same are held, ever keeping a most watchful eye over the cities and 
greater towns, from whence is the mischief for the most part derived 
into the lesser villages and hamlets. 

'And wherever they find such wilful offenders, that then, with a 
hearty affection to the worship of God, the honour of the King, and his 
laws, and the peace of the Church and Kingdom, they do address them- 
selves to the civil magistrates, justices, and others concerned, imploring 
their help and assistance for the prevention or suppression of the same, 
according to the said late act made and set forth in that behalf. 

' Lastly, for the better direction to all those that shall be concerned 
in the advices given in this letter, I desire you will give out amongst 
ecclesiastical officers and clergy as many copies of the same as you shall 
think most conducible to the ends for which it is designed. 

' And now, what the success will be, we must leave to God almighty. 
Yet I have this confidence, under God, that if we do our parts now at 
first diligently, by God's help and the assistance of the civil power 
(considering the abundant care and provisions this Act contains for our 
advantages), we shall within a few months see so great an alteration in 
the distractions of these times, as that the seduced people, returning from 
their seditious and self-serving teachers, to the unity of the Church and 
uniformity in God's service, it will be the glory of God, the welfare of 
the Church, the praise of his majesty's government, and the happiness 
of the whole kingdom. 

' And so I bid you heartily farewell, and am 

' Your most affectionate friend, 


''May 7, 1670.' 

It is true from the first half of the letter we can see that the Primate 
made the passage of the Act the occasion for an earnest effort to bring 
his clergy and prelatical hierarchy more thoroughly into line with his 
avowed objects of Ecclesiastical Unity and Ritual Uniformity, both in 
their private lives and in their parochial duties. Yet the real point of 
the letter lies in its second half ; from which we see how he enlists the 
whole of his ecclesiastical staff, from the Bishop, Deans, and Archdeacon 
of each diocese to the clergy (rectors, vicars, or curates), and church- 
wardens of every parish in the work of inquisition for Nonconformist 
ministers and Dissenting parishioners with note-book in hand so as to 
ply the double work of reclaiming them for the Church, if by any 
means they can win them back, and to bring them before the ecclesi- 
astical courts, if they remain obdurate or obstinate ; and if ecclesiastical 
penalties are not enough to deter them from this irregular worship in 
unlawful Conventicles, then they are to set to work the hounds of the 

56 Detailed and Expository 

law and the military forces of the Kingdom to harry them into obe- 
dience or silence. 

Nor were these instructions in vain. There is abundant evidence in 
the Domestic State Papers and in the Visitation Act Books in all the 
Dioceses of the Kingdom, that in 1670 there was a great revival of 
persecuting activity. The provision in the Act, which reserved one- 
third of the spoil for informers, without doubt largely multiplied their 
numbers and inflamed their malicious zeal, so that the two years for 
which the Second Conventicle Act was in active operation before the 
Declaration of Indulgence suspended all Penal Statutes were signalized 
by a more bitter and persistent persecution of Nonconformists than 
had been seen since the passing of the Act of Uniformity in 1662. 

Two most striking testimonies to this in the provinces are two 
small books which were published, the one for the Midlands, the other 
for the South- Western Counties. 

The former, entitled 'A True and Impartial Narrative of some 
' Illegal and Arbitrary Proceedings by certain Justices of the Peace and 

* others, against several innocent and peaceable Nonconformists in and 
' near the Town of Bedford^ upon pretence of putting in execution the 
' late Act against Conventicles, Published for general information,' was 
'printed in the year 1670.' Dr. John Brown (in his 'John Bunyan : 
'his Life, Times, and Work,' p. 222), judges from its general appearance 
that ' it was issued from the press of Francis Smith at Temple Bar.' 

The latter with very similar title gives particulars of the like 
Illegal and Arbitrary proceedings in the neighbourhood ot Kingsbridge, 
in South Devon, in which the persecution centred in the person of John 
Hickes, who had been ejected from Saltash, on the borders of Cornwall, 
and had fled to this neighbourhood with several others because to it the 
Five Mile Act did not apply. Though it was published anonymously, 
there is little room for doubt that it came from the pen of John Hickes 

Even in London, for twelve months at least, the new Act was made 
a reality in a way no penal statute against Nonconformists had been for 
the whole of this decade. There was a beginning made in the month 
of March, and in the person of one of the most influential of the Non- 
conformist ministers of London, Dr. Thomas Manton, of St. Paul's, 
Covent Garden. In the Episcopal Returns of '69 : (R. 219) he is re- 
ported as holding a Conventicle of 100 in number 'At his owne house 

* in Covent garden ' ; and (under date March 24, 1670), Bishop Kennett 
notes ' An Account of the Appearance of D r Manton before the Jus- 
' tices in discharge of his Security and his Commitment to the Gate 
'House' (Westminster), 'there to remain wth O ut Bail or Mainprise.' 
The election of a reactionary Lord Mayor, Sir Samuel Stirling, as well as 
the activity of some of the distinctly Episcopalian Aldermen, and of Sir 
John Robinson, Governor of the Tower, brought about a brief period of 
very energetic persecution in which the Trained Bands and the Horse 
Guards were enlisted in the dastardly work of breaking open Meeting- 
House doors, wrecking their furniture (pulpits and seats), and then closing 
them against the would-be worshippers ; and in other cases, by force of 

Episcopal Returns 

arms opening them for Episcopal services in parishes where the parish 
churches had not yet been rebuilt, though four years had elapsed since 
the Great Fire. Curiously enough, however, it coincided with the ab- 
sence of the King from Westminster, and his stay at Dover with his 
sister from France, signalized by the Secret Treaty which made the 
English Crown a pensioner on the bounty of France, and went far to 
sell the Protestantism of England to the Pope. With the King's return 
difficulties arise, the persecution slackens, and for the year 1671 London 
resumes its former condition, as the one place in the whole kingdom where 
the Nonconformists are most secure from molestation and persecution. 

With the Declaration of Indulgence in 1672, we know all persecu- 
tion ceased ; and eleven months of Royal protection no doubt served to 
favour and increase the spread of Nonconformity. 

Nor was the situation changed so thoroughly as might hastily be 
imagined by the enforced withdrawal of the Indulgence in March, 1673. 
In many quarters, no doubt, persecution was renewed with redoubled 
energy and bitterness. All the cruelties of 1670 and 1671 were 
resumed in 1673-4. Still, many who had received licences in 1672-3 
maintained that their licences still retained their validity, even after the 
King had broken the Great Seal on the Declaration of Indulgence. 
The licences were unqualified. No period was stated, no time-limit 
was named in them, beyond which they needed renewal. And it was 
a point so arguable in a court of law, that in many instances these out- 
standing licences constituted a very real barrier against the persecuting 
fury of their enemies. Such a condition of affairs very naturally was 
far from satisfactory to such men as Sheldon and Ward. Nor did they 
rest until, in 1675, they had obtained a public withdrawal of all the 
licences by the King in Council. 

Again, then, we see that the call for Returns from all the Bishops of 
both Provinces, is closely connected with a fresh stage in this Campaign 
of Persecution. The Returns of 1676 are synchronous with a recru- 
descence of these barbarous measures, and are clearly intended to 
encourage and facilitate them. The object of these Returns was to 
reassure the persecutors, by convincing them that the opposition they had 
to encounter was not so widespread or so influential as it was often made 
out to be. They were thus encouraged to continue their cruel work, 
in the confidence that a little more persistence and a little more severity 
would stamp out the pest, and bring Nonconformity to a perpetual end. 

The circular letters which Sheldon directed to the Bishops of both 
Provinces, in 1676, enjoined them to give directions to their archdeacons 
and commissaries to procure particular information from the church- 
wardens of their several parishes on the following enquiries, and transmit 
the information to Lambeth after the next visitation : 

4 1. What number of persons are there, by common estimation, 
inhabiting within each parish subject to your jurisdiction ? 

'2. What number of Popish recusants, or persons suspected of 
recusancy, are resident among the inhabitants aforesaid ? 

'3. What number of other dissenters are there in each parish, of 

Detailed .and Expository 

what sect soever, which either obstinately refuse or wholly absent 
themselves from the communion of the church of England at such 
times as by law they are required ?' [Neal, 4 History of the Puritans,' 
Vol. III., pp. 195-96]. 

Cardwell's note upon this letter is so significant ('Documentary 
Annals,' II., 288-89) as to deserve quotation : 

* From the time of the removal of Lord Clarendon, in the year 1667, 
various attempts had been made to comprehend dissenters, more especi- 
ally the presbyterians, within the pale of the church of England. In 
the year 1673, a bill for their relief passed through the House of 
Commons, and was read a third time with amendments in the upper 
house, but was not finally adopted by both houses before parliament 
was prorogued. In the year 1675, several divines of the church of 
England, with Tillotson and Stillingfleet at their head, had private 
conferences with Baxter, Manton, and other non-conformists, for the 
purpose of arranging terms of accommodation ; but meeting afterwards 
with great opposition from the bishops, they abandoned their plan, and 
Tillotson expressed their reason for doing so in the following manner : 
" It cannot pass in either house without the concurrence of a consider- 
" able part of the bishops, and the countenance of his majesty, which at 
"present I see little reason to expect." Nevertheless the non-con- 
formists had very powerful arguments on their side, and were supported 
by able advocates. The duke of Buckingham proposed a bill for their 
relief in November, 1675, urging the importance of the measure for 
promoting the wealth, strength, and greatness of the nation. Bishop 
Wilkins, who died in 1672, had been indefatigable in their favour, 
having spoken against the Conventicle Act in 1670, although the King 
had endeavoured to prevent him ; and bishop Croft published anony- 
mously (in 1675) an address to the lords and commons, under the title 
of " The Naked Truth," which recommended that " peace should be 
"made with lesser enemies, in order to resist more successfully the 
"encroachments of the greater." Among the topics urged at that 
period in favour of comprehension great use was doubtless made of the 
supposed number and influence of the dissenters, and this letter was 
issued by the archbishop for the purpose of ascertaining what was the 
degree of credit to which it was entitled. We learn from a pamphlet, 
written by bishop Sherlock, in vindication of the Test Act, what was 
the result. " The non-conformists of all sorts (including papists as well 
" as the others) were computed to be in proportion to the numbers of the 
"church of England in the year 1676, as one to twenty ; a number in 
" proportion, too small to have any natural strength to hurt the consti- 
"tution" (p. 44, edit. 1790). It is evident, however, that such a pro- 
portion of discontent was too great to continue stationary. In the copy 
of this letter preserved in the Tanner MSS. (Vol. 282, p. 104) is the 
following note on the words " What number of persons ?" " The 
" Bishop of Norwich doubts whether the word was to be restrained to 
" such as were only of fit years to communicate : sc. above the age 
"of 1 6."' 

All that need be said here is that statistics obtained with such a 
clearly defined object can scarcely be looked upon as reliable. When 

Episcopal Retur?is 59 

the avowed hope of the ecclesiastics who instituted the census was that 
the numbers of Nonconformists would be found to be much smaller 
than the Nonconformists themselves claimed that they were, we may be 
quite sure that the clergy and churchwardens would not overestimate 
their numbers ; and can hardly avoid the suspicion that they would 
take care that the Returns would confirm the hopes of the authorities. 
Thus clearly was each set of Episcopal Returns made by order of Arch- 
bishop Sheldon connected with a distinct stage in the campaign of Per- 
secution of Nonconformists. 


THE Episcopal Returns of 1665, preserved at Lambeth, are extremely 
meagre. Whether or not they were the only returns made is a matter 
of pure speculation. 

It is scarce reasonable to suppose, however, that so distinct a demand 
on the part of the Primate should have been utterly ignored by twenty 
Bishops out of the twenty-six. 

Yet the fact remains that in Vol. 639 (of the MS. Department of 
the Lambeth Palace Library), we have preserved Returns from only six 
Dioceses of England and Wales ; four out of the twenty- two English 
Dioceses ; and two out of the Welsh four. Two of English Returns, 
moreover, are of no value for our purpose. The Returns from Lincoln 
and Norwich contain nothing whatever about Nonconformists. And 
one of the two from Wales viz., that from St. Asaph's is as useless 
as theirs, because of the Bishop's wilful silence when he might have 
told us much. He has the audacity to certify that there are no Non- 
conformists in his Diocese, when he must have known (as we shall see 
presently) that there were many. So that we have only three Returns 
of any value for our purpose. 

Before proceeding to any detailed examination of them, however, 
a word or two of explanation may not be out of place : 

I. To begin with, it so happened that the King had demanded a 
Return from the Bishops in this same year 1665, only a few days before 
the Archbishop had decided to ask for Returns on certain points on 
which he desired both information and satisfaction. The King's 
enquiry concerned one subject only viz., the Hospitals or Charitable 
Institutions of England and Wales. The Archbishop's concerned six 
several items touching the condition of the Church of England, 
Ordinations, Pluralities, Lectures, Free Schools, Medical Practitioners, 
and Nonconformist Ministers. 

It was the King's pleasure to get the information he wanted through 
Sheldon. Hence the Bishops received two Orders or Instructions from 
the Primate within eleven days of each other. 

Little wonder, then, if some of the Bishops should mix up the Royal 

60 Detailed and Expository 

Enquiry with the Special Enquiries of the Primate; and, as all the 
Returns had to be sent to Sheldon, should fail to keep them distinct. 
This was the case apparently with even so clear-headed a prelate as 
Seth Ward, Bishop of Exeter. At any rate in the Title Page of the 
4 Bishop of Exon's Certificate of the things above written' (R. 396), 
the first of the six items enumerated of which ' An Account ' is given 
' in the Dicecesse of Exeter ' is < Hospitals & Almeshouses ' (instead of 
'Ordinations'), the others being (i) * Clergymen holding Pluralities; 
(2) Schole Masters ; (3) Lecturers ; (4) Physicians ; (5) Ejected 
Non Conformist Ministers.' 

That may have been the error of the Editor of his Reports, as 
Ward did also faithfully report on Ordinations as well. For while his 
account of Hospitals is given on pages 384-389, his list of persons 
ordained at Exeter from September 2, 1662, to September 24, 1665, is 
given on pp. 390-395, and what follows, the Title Page or Summary, 
on p. 396, is his detailed Returns on the five other points. That 
Summary applies therefore to what precedes as well as to what follows 
it [vide Note to Part I., Cap. I. (p. 7 of this volume)]. It is, of course, 
from what follows it that I have made the extracts printed on pp. 1 84- 
191 of Vol. I. of this work. 

What is somewhat confusing to the student of Vol. 639 (Lambeth) 
is that the Returns of Seth Ward (splendidly detailed and complete) 
both in answer to the King's Enquiry and all six points of the Primate's 
' Orders and Instructions,' are inserted in the midst of a series of Returns 
of c Hospitals in England and Wales.' [I imagine, because his Returns 
of Hospitals were sent in with Returns on the other six points.] 

The series as a whole covers pages 355-438 in Vol. 639. 

Those that precede Seth Ward's are: (i) St. Asaph's (pp. 356-57) ; 
(2) Bangor's (pp. 358-362) ; (3) Carlisle's (pp. 363-367) ; (4) St. 
David's, and (5) St. Asaph's (p. 368) ; (6) Durham's (pp. 370-377) ; 
and (7) Ely's (pp. 378-383) ; and those which follow are (8) Lincoln's 
(pp. 419-425) ; (9) Norwich's (pp. 425-26) ; (10) Peterborough's 
(pp. 427-28), with a separate sheet for Rutland (p. 429) ; (n) 
Worcester's (pp. 430-436) ; and (12) (a detached supplement at the 
very end of the Volume) the Report of St. Magdalen Hospital by Baw- 
tree in the County of Nottingham, which, of course, is a fragment of 
the Report from the Diocese of York (p. 446). For the archaeologist, 
and historian of the Public Charities of England, this is a most valuable 
series of documents. Full as it is, however, it is far from complete. 
We miss the Returns from fifteen Dioceses viz. (i) York (save the 
fragment about Bawtree) ; (2) Chester ; (3) Lichfield and Coventry ; 
(4) Hereford ; (5) Gloucester ; and (6) Oxford, are all lacking from the 
Northern half of the Kingdom ; and what is more remarkable, since the 
depository is Lambeth : (i) Canterbury, (2) Rochester, (3) London, 
(4) Chichester, (5) Winchester, (6) Sarum, (7) Bath and Wells, 
(8) Bristol, and (9) Llandaff, are all wanting from the South. 

In Vol. 975 we have authentic extracts 'ex REGISTRO GILBERT 
' SHELDON ' ; and amongst them the original correspondence of the 
Archbishop with reference to these 1665 Returns. 

Episcopal Returns 61 

It seems that he did not address himself directly to each of the 
Bishops of his Diocese ; but wrote personally only to Humphrey 
Henchman, Bishop of London, requiring him to communicate the 
Archbishop's wishes to all his Brother Bishops, enclosing a Draft of the 
' Orders and Instructions,' copies of which the Bishop of London was 
to send to all his Episcopal Brethren. 

The Archbishop's Letter read as follows : 

< His Grace's Letter to the Ld. Bp. of London. 

* Right Reverend and my very good Lord. After my hearty Com- 
mendations. Having heard frequent complaints from many parts of my 
province, not only of great disorders and disturbances caused by ye crafty 
insinuations and turbulent practices of factious Inconformist ministers 
and others disaffected to y e Governm 1 of y e Church, but also of divers 
unworthy persons y 1 even of late years have crept into y e Ministry, to 
y e Scandal of y e Church & dissatisfaction of good men, a great part of 
which miscarriages are imputed to y e easiness or inadvertency (at least) 
of y e Bps who ought to have a watchful eye against such growing 
mischiefs. I have therefore thought good, as in like cases hath often 
been done by my p r decessors, to recommend to yo r Ldships & y e rest of 
my Brethren y e Bps of my Province y e orders & Instructions here w th 
all sent, desireing & requiring your Ldp & y m duly to observe y e same 
& to give unto me such account & certificates as are thereby required, 
w ch , y 4 it may be pformed, I desire yo r Ldp y u will impart y e ten r of 
these my L rs together w th a true Copie of y e s d Ord rs & Instructions to 
every one of my Brethren y e Bps of my Province w th all convenient 
Speed and so I bid y r Ldp heartily farewell. 

4 Yo r Ldps very affectionate Friend and Brother, 




4 P.S. I desire y 1 yo r Ldp, in yo r Lrs to my Brethren y e Bps, will 
quicken y m to make a speedy return to his Maty's Instructions for 
enquiries concerning Hospitals by me lately sent & recommended to 
yo r Ldp and y m , by his Maty's Command.' 

It will be noted that in his P.S. he requests the Bishops of his 
Province to expedite the Returns concerning Hospitals, which he had 
asked for a few days before on behalf of the King. To be exact, it was 
eleven days ; as the letter containing * His Majesties Instructions con- 
c cerning the present condition of all Hospitals in England and Wales' 
was dated June 26, 1665 (a Monday), and as we have seen the Arch- 
bishop's Letter to the Lord Bishop of London was dated July 7 (a 

Further, the first part of the letter (it should be observed), quite in 
the fashion of the Preamble to a Petition, Royal Declaration, or Act of 
Parliament, gives Sheldon's own reasons for the course he is taking. 

Naturally enough, an Archbishop would desire, on entering his 

62 Detailed and Expository 

office, to ascertain the condition of affairs in his Province, that he might 
realize the exact nature of the task he had undertaken, the faults in the 
body ecclesiastic which needed correction, the defects which needed 
supplying, and the irregularities which called for remedy, as well as the 
quality and efficiency of his ecclesiastical staff as constituting the means 
at his disposal for the achievement of his task. Yet, in view of this 
preamble, it cannot be denied that Sheldon's outlook is coloured, and his 
review is biassed from the first by the presence in his jurisdiction of the 
recalcitrant clergy who had been duly extruded from their benefices, 
but unfortunately had not been banished the realm. He cannot forget 
these ejected ministers whose continued presence in the Province was 
(and, from his point of view, could not but be) the source of constant 
irritation, discontent, and disorder. It is interesting to observe that he 
describes them as 'Inconformist ' (not here ' Nonconformist') Ministers, 
that he particularly singles out such as are * factious,' calling their 
utterances, public and private, 4 crafty insinuations,' and their continued 
meetings for worship and preaching < turbulent practices.' And though 
he complains in a general way that sufficient care has not been exercised 
by the Bishops in the selection of candidates for Ordination, so that ill- 
educated and unworthy men had been admitted (who should have been 
sternly rejected), it is clear that even here he is insinuating that some 
with Nonconformist sympathies and Puritan inclinations were still 
infesting the Ministry of his Church. 

' The Orders and Instructions ' otherwise often referred to as 
Sheldon's 'Enquiries' are as follows (pp. 178 et seq. of 975) : 

< Orders and Instructions by the most Reverend father in God, 
Gilbert Ld. ArchBp of Cant, his Grace Primate of all England and 
Metropolitan to all the Bishops of his province, and required to be 
observed and certified as followeth, viz. : 

4 i. Concerning Ordinations. 

< I. That all and every y e said Bps w th in their severall Dioceses and 
Jurisdictions be very carefull what persons they receive into the 
Ministry, & y l none be admitted into holy orders unless he bring with 
him L rs Dimissory according to y e 34th Canon ; and y* no Bp being 
not within his own proper Diocese do at any time hereafter conferr 
Orders upon any person without Licence first from us obtain'd, and y* 
in all things y e Canons concerning Ordination be duly and punctually 
observed, and y l once every year viz., within thirty days after y e 
Feast of y e Annunciation of our blessed Lady S l . Mary the Virgin, 
every Bishop do certify unto us y e names, Degrees, Titles & Orders of 
every person by him ordained within y e year before ending at Xmas then 
last past. 

< 2. Concerning Pluralists & Their Curates. 

< 2. That before y e Feast of y e Annunciation of our blessed Lady S l . 
Mary y e Virgin next coming they and every of them certify to me 
particularly y e names, Sirnames, & Degrees of all Clergymen that 

Episcopal Returns 63 

together with any Benefice with Cure do hold also any Prebend or 
Ecclesiastical Dignity or promocon or Sine Cura, w th y e names and 
places of y e said Benefices, prebends, Dignities promocons & Sine Curas, 
and also the names, Sirnames & Degrees of all Clergymen yt hold two 
& more Eccticall Benefices with or w th out Cure, whether within y e 
same Diocese or in several Dioceses, and y e Names and Places wherein 
y e s d Benefices are ; and within what distance or corhonly reputed 
Distance of miles, and whether they hold y e same by lawfull Qualifica- 
tion & Dispensacon, and upon w ch of their Benefices, Prebends, 
Dignities, or promocons they do reside, and whether they keep and 
maintain able Orthodox and Conformable Curates upon y e s d Benefices 
where they do not reside ; and whether any of y m keep any Curate 
where they themselves do usually reside, and what are y e Names, 
Sirnames & Degrees of y e said Curates ; and whether they be 
Licensed and approved by the Bp as they ought. 

' 3. Concerning Lectures and Lecturers. 

< 3. That before y e said Feast day of our Blessed Lady St. Mary y e 
Virgin They and every of them particularly certify unto me what 
Lectures are set up & Lecturers maintained within their respective 
Dioceses. In what Towns, Places, and Churches y e same are set up; 
what allowances are made and established for any such Lectures What 
are y e Names, Sirnames, Degrees and Qualities of all and every such 
Lecturers, and whether such Lectures be set up by & w th y e Consent of 
y e Bp of y e Diocese, and whether y e s d Lecturers be lawfully Licensed 
preachers & by whom, and how they appear affected to y e Governm 1 of 
his Maty & y e Doctrine and Discipline of y e Church of England. 

4 4. Concerning Schoolmasters & Instruct 1 " 5 of Youth. 

4 4. That before y e s d Feast Day of our blessed Lady St. Mary y e 
Virgin. They and every of them particularly certify me how many 
and what Free Schools are within their respective Dioceses ; and where 
and by whom founded, aud how endowed, and y e Names, Sirnames and 
Degrees of y e Schoolmasters and Ushers in y e s d Free Schools ; and also 
y e Names, Sirnames & Degrees of all other publique Schoolm rs & Ushers 
or Instructers and Teachers of Youth, in reading Writing Grammar or 
other Literature, and whether they be licensed and by whom, as also of 
all publick Mistresses of Schools and Instructers and Teachers of young 
Maids or women, & of all others, men or women, y l keep schollars in 
their Houses to board or sojourn, & privately teach them or others 
w th in their Houses and whether y e said Schoolmasters Ushers School- 
mistresses and Instructures or Teachers of Youth, publickly or 
privately, do themselves frequent the publick Prayers of y e Church and 
cause their Schollars to do y e same ; and whether they appear well 
affected to y e Governm 1 of his Majesty & y e Doctrine and Discipline of 
y e Church of England. 

64 Detailed and Expository 

4 5. Concerning Practisers of Physicke. 

' 5. That before y e said Feast Day of our blessed Lady St. Mary the 
Virgin, they and every of y m particularly certify me the Names, Sir- 
names & Degrees and Qualities, of all practisers of Physick within 
their respective Dioceses. In what Towns, Villages, or Places they 
live ; whether Licensed and by whom, & how they appear affected to 
his Maty's Governm* and y e Doctrine & Discipline of y e Church of 

* 6. Concerning Non-Conformist Ministers. 

' 6. That before y e Feast of they and every of them 

particularly certify me y e Names Sirnames and Degrees of all Non 
Conformist ministers y* w th in their respective Dioceses have been 
ejected out of any Eccticall Benefice, promocon or Charge for Non 
Subscription or Inconformity, & where & how and in what profession 
of Life they now do live ; and how they behave themselves in relacon 
to y e Peace and quiet as well of y e Church as of y e State and further if 
any such like Non-conformists shall have removed from any other 
Diocese into any of their respective Dioceses y l they certify y e same 
things concerning them as well as of y e others in this Instruction 

'Given at my Manner House at Lambeth in y e County of 
Surrey July yth, 1665.' 

A careful scrutiny of this document makes it sufficiently evident 
that throughout it Sheldon had a jealous eye upon the * Inconformist ' 
Ministers, and a scarcely less suspicious one upon any of the minor 
clergy, who, though they had subscribed and conformed, were still 
strongly Puritan in their sympathies, and were prepared to evade many 
of the Canons, which they would not directly disobey. He phrased his 
' Orders and Instructions ' so as to reach any who did not ex ammo 
accept his High Church regime. 

The first two points (concerning Ordinations and Pluralists), for 
example, might (at first glance) be said to concern only the strictly 
internal affairs of the Church ; but the phraseology of the Instructions 
evidently contemplated the possibility that some of those who had been 
ordained had not been strictly enough examined as to their attitude 
towards Puritanism and Nonconformity ; and that others who were not 
thoroughly 'conformable' or ecclesiastically satisfactory, had been 
received and retained by Rectors and Vicars who were thoroughly 
conformable and satisfactory themselves. 

All the other items have a clear bearing, direct or indirect, upon 
this matter of * Nonconformity.' 

Lectures, as functions which were more or less irregular and 
uncanonical, might still be delivered by Nonconformists through the 
connivance or permission of incumbents of parishes other than those 
from which Nonconformists had been ejected : and the policy of the 
Bishops was to discourage, >and by degrees to end the system alto- 

Episcopal Returns 65 

gether. It was Puritan in origin, and was too much a matter of popular 
election, and therefore too evangelical, to please the High Church party. 

The education of the young, again, by a direct provision of the Act of 
Uniformity (and of the Corporation Act of 1665, to which these 
Instructions were meant to be ancillary) had been denied to any ejected 
minister or to anyone who could not take the oath prescribed by the 
Act. CardwelPs note on this ' particular,' is so illuminating that I cite 
it entire (Documentary Annals, II. 274). * The power of the ordinary 
'in granting license to Schoolmasters had been declared in the 
'Injunctions of Elizabeth (No. XLIIL), in the Canons of 1603; and 
'in the Statutes 23 Eliz., c. i, and I James L, c. 4 ; but the further 
'power of requiring such Schoolmasters to subscribe a declaration of 
' conformity to the liturgy of the Church of England was given for the 
'first time in the Act of Uniformity (13 and 14 Charles II. c. 4). The 
' House of Lords remonstrated against this clause, but was overcome by 
' the pertinacity of the Commons.' 

Sheldon required information about Schoolmasters, because he was 
anxious to punish any ejected minister who had evaded the Acts, and 
to extrude from the Teaching profession any layman who had 
Nonconformist sympathies. 

Similarly with regard to ' those who practise Physick.' The 
Return of Physicians was asked for by Sheldon for two reasons. It was 
illegal to * practise Physick ' without a licence : and both the issue of 
licences and the licence-fees were the prerogative and the perquisite of 
the Church. [As Cardwell puts it in his note on this point. By 
Statute 3 Henry VIII. c. n, . . . ' bishops and their Vicars general had 
'the right of licensing physicians and surgeons in their respective 
dioceses.'] Sheldon's object was therefore twofold : first, to prevent 
the episcopal clergy from being defrauded of their dues by unlicensed 
practitioners ; and second, to prevent Nonconformists, whether ejected 
ministers, retired ministers not episcopally ordained, or specially trained 
laymen with Puritan sympathies, from gaining influence, or earning a 
livelihood in this way. 

In examining these Returns, therefore, I have carefully scrutinized 
the answers to Enquiries Nos. 3, 4, and 5, as well as to No. 6. No. 3, 
however, much to my surprise, contained nothing concerning the 
ejected. Evidently in the four Dioceses which alone are represented in 
these Documents, they had neither retained, nor secured, any Lecture- 
ships ; but I have made considerable extracts from the Returns of 
Schoolmasters and Physicians, as well as transcribed the whole of them 
on the sixth and last point. 

The information concerning Schoolmasters and Physicians, of 
course, mainly touches ' laymen.' It is worth preserving, as many a Non- 
conformist of the twentieth century may be proud to find in his lineal 
ancestry one of these threatened Nonconformists of the seventeenth. 

The chief value of these Returns, however, for the Student of Non- 
conformist history, naturally centres in the sixth item 'Concerning 
Nonconformists.' Here we have the names of the ejected Noncon- 
formist ministers resident in the Diocese of the Bishop who sends in the 



Detailed and Expository 

report, the place of their residence in 1665, and their attitude towards 
Church and State. 

If the Returns had been preserved from all the Dioceses, and this 
part of them had been complete, we should as already hinted in 
Chapter I. have possessed an Official List of the ejected ministers of 
England and Wales which would have been of great historical value. 
To judge by the small fraction of these Returns which have been pre- 
served, it cannot be said that subsequent research, such as that of Calamy 
and Palmer, would have been needless, because it is clear that some of 
the Church officials, either from contempt or from fear, shut their eyes 
to the signs of Nonconformity in their districts.* 

In 1665, moreover, we should miss from such a list the names of all 
' ejected ministers ' who had died in the three years which had elapsed 
since their ejectment. Yet it would have given us a standard with 
which to compare Calamy's and Palmer's lists, and this official catalogue 
probably would have largely added to the numbers in theirs. 

As we have already said, there are only three preserved in this 
Volume of any value for our special purpose : those of Gilbert Ironside 
of Bristol, Seth Ward of Exeter, and William Lucy of St. David's. 
The second and third are presented in two forms, the briefer in each 
instance being a concise summary of the other. They are inserted in 
Vol. 639 in a strange succession, rather confusing to the student first 
making acquaintance with their contents. First, comes a condensed 
summary of Seth Ward's Report (pp. 304-309) ; next we have Gilbert 
Ironside's full report (pp. 310-319) containing a careful account of the 
Nonconformist ministers resident in the County of Dorset, followed by 
a bare list of those ' now Inhabiting within the Cittie of Bristol!, 
' contrary to the late Act of Parliament ' (the * Oxford ' or < Five Mile 
4 Act ') ; then we have William Lucy's in both forms (pp. 331-338), the 
fuller report coming first, and the summary on a single page (p. 338) ; 
and the last section, which also contains most interesting detail, consists 
of Seth Ward's full report, beginning with the Citty (and Suburbs of the 
Cittie) of Exeter, giving in order all the Deaneries of Devon ; and 
finishing with those of Cornwall (pp. 396-4 19^). The whole of these 
1665 Returns, therefore, as far as they concern Nonconformists, cover 
little more than thirty pages of Vol. 639. Still, by careful study of 
them, particulars may be gathered on the following points : 

(i) As to whether the ejected ministers remained in the parishes 
where they had exercised their ministry or had been driven into retire- 
ment elsewhere ; (2) as to the distribution of the refugees in the three 
counties of Dorset, Devon, and Cornwall ; (3) as to the remarkable 
accuracy of Calamy's account of the ministers ejected in these counties, 
affording the clearest proof that Calamy underestimated their numbers 
rather than overstated them ; and (4) of the valuable additions which 
they make to the information Calamy gives of the ejected ministers. 

i. First, then, they show that about one-third of the ejected 
ministers remained in the parishes where they had exercised their 
ministry ; while two-thirds were obliged to leave their parishes and 
* One signal instance we have already noted viz., the Bishop of St. Asaph. 

Episcopal Returns 67 

friends for places in which often they were personally strangers. The 
exact number of those who so remained is thirty ; three of them were 
still in the city of Bristol, three in the county of Dorset, twenty-one in 
Devon (five of whom belonged to the city of Exeter, and two to the 
little town of Dartmouth), and three in the county of Cornwall.* 

2. Further : the fugitives, whom persecution drove from their 
flocks and their friends, are shown to have settled (i) in Dorset gener- 
ally, in groups of villages within touch of each other ; and (2) in 
Gloucester, Devon, and Cornwall, in little colonies in towns. 

(i.) In Dorset we may distinguish two groups ; though in the first 
they are so scattered as rather to form a district, consisting of the six 
who settled nearest to Dorchester. The second was sprinkled along the 
high land, between the valleys of the Stour and Puddle. 

(ii.) In Gloucester, four fugitives from adjacent counties had settled 
in Bristol, and four other Nonconformists whom Calamy does not help 
us to identify. 

(iii.) In Devon, colonies of the ejected were to be found in 
(i) Thorncombe, in its easternmost corner (four of them) ; (2) Ottery 
St. Mary (other four) ; (3) Totnes, two ; (4) Dartmouth, three ; 
(5) Plymouth, four ; (6) Exeter, eight, in addition to the seven who had 
been ejected from livings in the city ; and (7) two in the western 
central portion of the county. 

(iv.) Cornwall was distinguished by one remarkable colony of six 
Nonconformists in Saltash, a town on its south-eastern border ; the 
magnetic centre of the colony being John Hickes, who, only a few 
years later, was the inspiring leader of another colony in the adjoining 
county of Devon, at Kingsbridge and its immediate neighbourhood. 

3. Without question one of the most interesting things about these 
Returns is the remarkable testimony they furnish to the general accu- 
racy and completeness of Calamy's lists. 

In Dorset, of the seventeen mentioned in Gilbert Ironside's return, 
fourteen are given by Calamy as ejected from the places named by the 

In Bristol, of the eleven he reports as residing in the City, seven are 
mentioned by Calamy. 

In Devon, the Bishop of Exeter (Seth Ward) reports sixty- four 
ejected ministers. Sixty-three of them are mentioned by Calamy ; and 
of these sixty-two are alluded to by Calamy as ejected from the places 
named by Seth Ward. 

In Cornwall, the same Bishop reports twenty, and of these nineteen 
are referred to by Calamy exactly as they are reported by the Bishop. 

In Wales, the Bishop of St. David's (William Lucy) reports twelve.f 
Of these six only are given by Calamy, and one of the six is mentioned 
as ejected from a different place from that named by the Bishop. 

Of the one hundred and fifteen ejected ministers, therefore, reported 

* For the details and names, on this point and those that follow, I would refer 
the reader to a paper published in the Transactions of the Congregational. Historical 
Society, vol. iv., No. 2, pp. 113-125 ; No. 3, pp. 148-158. 

f He was the son of Shakespeare's Sir Thomas Lucy; and, as one might expect, 
a stormy prelate. [A. G.] 



Detailed and Expository 

in these Returns, ninety-four or ninety-five are mentioned by Calamy ; 
and in ninety of these cases the place of ejectment is the same accord- 
ing to both authorities : a remarkable proof of Calamy's accuracy. 
Further, in the four instances in which the names of the place differ, 
careful examination shows that the statements are mutually supple- 
mentary, and not contradictory. For in each case the unfortunate 
minister was ejected from two places in succession : from the first of them 
at the Restoration (in 1660), either to make way for the reinstatement 
of the former clergyman, who had been ' sequestered ' by Parliament or 
by Oliver's Commissioners, or in the case of places in the Royal 
patronage, because his appointment was not allowed to be valid, having 
been made by the < Usurping ' Protector or Parliament ; and, from the 
second place, * for conscience' sake' in 1662. Two* of these belonged 
to Dorset, one to Devon, and one to Glamorgan. 

Thus it appears that in regard to ninety-four out of the one hundred 
and fifteen ejected ministers reported in these Returns, the names and 
places of ejectment given by the Bishops are consistent with the state- 
ments of Calamy. It is true that, in all the counties here referred to, 
Calamy's list is much longer than that contained in the Bishop's Returns. 

In Dorset it exceeds them by 47 (64 as compared with 17). 
In Bristol city 6 (9 3). 

In Devon 83 (146 63). 

In Cornwall 28 (48 20). 

In the south-western corner of England, therefore, Calamy enrolls 
in his list of confessors two hundred and sixty-seven, as compared with 
only one hundred and three reported by the Bishops, that is, an excess of 
one hundred and sixty-four ; and in Wales, the discrepancy is even 
greater. Calamy's list of ejected numbers fifty-five, and the Bishop's 
report only twelve. 

This, however, need not cause surprise when we bear in mind the 
strong temptation there was, alike to the parsons of individual parishes, 
and to the Bishops of the, several dioceses, to minimize the number of 
Nonconformists in them, in order to 'make a fair show' of their 
corporate loyalty and orthodoxy. 

A signal proof of this is given in the Return of George Griffith, the 
Bishop of St. Asaph's, which has been excluded from our examination 
because he had the hardihood to report of the c Nonconconformists and 
ejected ministers' in his see 'None such in this diocese.' We know, 
on the contrary, on the sure testimony of Calamy, that four were 
ejected in Flint, six in Denbigh, one at least in Merioneth, and nine 
in that part of Salop which was in his diocese : at the lowest estimate, 
twenty in all. 

4. Then there is another set of facts revealed by these Returns, 
which makes our confidence the greater that Calamy has not exaggerated 
the number of his 'confessors.' It cannot be questioned that in no 

* In one of these two cases viz., that of Weymouth or Melcomb Regis local 
research has shown that the second place named i.e., Radipole was still cited as 
the name of the single parish which included both Melcomb and itself, although 
Melcomb Regis Church had long been made the parish church. 

Episcopal Returns 69 

single instance would a Bishop report as an c ejected Nonconformist* 
a minister who did not suffer for his Nonconformity. Yet these 
Returns (restricted as they are), give us thirteen names which are not 
mentioned by Calamy, so that by that number, at the very least, Calamy 
has understated (and not exaggerated) the number of those ejected in the 
southern half of Wales and the south-western corner of England.* By 
these thirteen names, then, our roll of Nonconformist worthies is 
enriched, and our confidence in Calamy's sobriety and trustworthiness 
is confirmed. 

5. Moreover, the Returns incidentally confirm the accuracy of 
Calamy in little details, and in some instances supply facts which 
Calamy was unable to furnish. As samples of confirmation, we may 
take the cases of Benjamin Way, and Samuel Austin, Thomas Finney, 
and Samuel Tapper. We find that in every instance the places to 
which Calamy says they retired are just those where the Bishops report 
they were resident in 1665. Again, we have examples of supple- 
mentary information furnished by the Returns. In the case of Mr. 
Martin, Calamy knew not the place of his ejectment. The Returns, 
of course, supply it. In that of Mr. John Jordan, on the other hand, 
Calamy knew nothing of his career subsequent to his ejectment, while 
the Returns show this at least, that he retired to his native city of 
Exeter. For others, I would refer the reader to the paper I have already 
named, though I have there been able to publish only a small portion of 
what I have been able to elicit, viz., what concerns the Congrega- 


THE '69 Returns are much more complete than those of 1665. Yet 
even here much remains to be desired. Five out of the twenty-two 
English Dioceses are altogether unrepresented, Hereford, Gloucester, 
Oxford,^ Rochester, and Bristol ; while the Bishop of Peterborough 
sends in Returns from only half his Diocese, nothing being given con- 
cerning the large County of Northampton ; and reports from parts of 
the large Diocese of Lincoln are missing, including, unfortunately, the 
whole of the County of Lincoln. The peccant Bishops were Herbert 

* At first, I had added five others to the list (making the addition eighteen 
instead of thirteen), as none of these appears in his index. On closer scrutiny, how- 
ever, I found all five mentioned in his work, but belonging to his 'black lists' of 
those who 'afterwards conformed.' On further consideration, I agree with Rev. 
Alexander Gordon these five should be included, as he most pertinently suggests 
that ' to ruin a man's conscience is a worse offence than to deprive him of a living.' 

f This statement needs qualification, for Returns for part of the Diocese of Oxford 
have been discovered and transcribed by Rev. John Stanley, F.R.Hist.S., of Long- 
hope, Gloucestershire. He found them in another of the manuscript volumes in the 
Lambeth Palace Library. Through his generous courtesy I am able to reproduce 

7 o 

Detailed and Expository 

Croft, of Hereford ; William Nicholson, of Gloucester ; Walter Bland- 
ford, of Oxford ; Francis Dolben, of Rochester ; and Gilbert Ironside, 
of Bristol. In Wales only one Diocese is unreported viz., St. Davids, 
whose Bishop William Lucy had sent in so illuminating a Return in 
1665. In that respect, he was only following the example of his neigh- 
bour, Gilbert Ironside, of Bristol. While that is true, however, it is 
also true that the Returns deal with only three of the twelve Welsh 
counties, viz., Montgomery, Glamorgan, and Monmouth. 

Why these two prelates, who responded so loyally in 1665 to 
Sheldon's * Orders and Instructions,' should have failed so completely 
in 1669, it would be interesting, perhaps instructive, to know. The 
third (Seth Ward), whose Returns were complete in 1665, contributes 
a report as careful and detailed as his earlier Return. Only in the 
interval he has been translated from Exeter to Sarum, so that we have 
the benefit of his zeal and exactitude with regard to a much smaller area 
viz., the counties of Wilts and half of Dorset (instead of the whole of 
the large counties of Devon and Cornwall). To increase our sense of 
loss, we find that his successor in the see of Exeter, Anthony Sparrow, 
a learned ecclesiastic, who specialised, too, in all the details of the ritual 
and organization of the Church of England, and * had suffered many 
'things' at the hands of the Puritans in the Commonwealth days, 
showed the most extraordinary carelessness in his Returns, touching only 
the South-Eastern half of Devon ; even of this giving the meagrest and 
most unsystematic account, and reporting nothing at all about Cornwall. 

The fact is that the Returns are not nearly so complete as one 
might have expected from the number of Dioceses represented in them. 
Returns are wanting for seven entire counties : Lincoln, Rutland, 
Hereford, Northampton, Gloucester, Huntingdon, and Cornwall ; and 
for many counties they are very perfunctory and incomplete. For the 
four Northernmost counties this is very noticeable. [John Cosin, Bishop 
of Durham, was responsible for these ; and his strong antipathy to 
Popery may have made him less eager to ' spy out ' Protestant Noncon- 
formists. (He disinherited his only son when he became a Roman 

Edward Rainbow, Bishop of Carlisle, was not a bigot, and did not 
trouble himself in this matter ; but, in parts, his Returns are fairly 

For Yorkshire the Returns are a little fuller ; but the Archbishop 
(Richard Sterne), though he was one of the Revisers of the Book of 
Common Prayer, and had suffered * in the time of Usurp n ,' was not so 
keen to search out and report * delinquents J as many others. 

The c instructions ' or ' enquiries ' which determined the form of 
the Returns, varied slightly as issued to the two Provinces of York and 
Canterbury. In those sent to York the reference to the King, as 
Supreme Governor of the Church, is more obtruded ; Sheldon's authority 
as Archbishop of Canterbury being referred to as mediate or intermediate, 
rather than direct or ultimate ; while in those sent out to tne Southern 
Province, Sheldon's authority is used as direct and immediate, and the 
King's as collateral or even secondary. 

Episcopal Returns 71 

In W. Horner Groves's ' History of Mansfield,' p. 336, the situation 
in the Northern Province is described as follows: 'On the 3ist of 
'July, 1669, an order was issued, under direction of his Majesty the 
' King and his Privy Council, to Lord Arthur, Bishop of York, under 
' the hand of his Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury, " To 
' " enquire after all Conventicles, or unlawful meetings, under pretence of 
" religion and the worship of God, by such as separate from the unitie 
' " and conformitie of the Church as by law established." : The return 
to be made by the clergy of the Archdeaconry of Nottingham (of which 
Mansfield was a part) was as follows /'.*., was determined by the 
four following queries : 

1. How many Conventicles, unlawful assemblies, or Church 
meetings are held in the various parishes in the county ? 

2. What number of persons usually frequent these meetings, and 
what sort and condition of people are they ? 

3. From whom and upon what grounds they look for indemnity ? 

4. At whose houses they usually meet, and who are their speakers ? 
In the Southern Province, on the other hand, the ' instructions ' or 

'enquiries' which determined the form of the Returns were contained 
in two letters of Sheldon, one addressed to his Commissary, together 
with the Dean of St. Paul's, and the other addressed to the Bishop of 
London. The former is preserved verbatim in Wilkins's Concilia 
iv. 588. It is headed : 

' The Archbp. of Canterbury's letter about Conventicles. 


Gilb. Sheldon 6. 1669. Carol. II. 21.' 

It is described : 

' The Archbishop of Canterbury's letter to the commissary of the 
' diocese of Canterbury about Conventicles. Ex MS. Guil. Sancroft, 
arch. Cant, apud Thomam, episc. Assaven.' 

We are thoroughly assured of the authenticity of the document, as 
(it will be noted) Dr. Wilkins reproduces it from the manuscript 
collection of the official whom Sheldon directly instructs to act with his 
Commissary in gathering the information required viz., William San- 
croft, who eight years later succeeded him in the Primate's chair, and 
who was then Archdeacon of Canterbury as well as Dean of St. Paul's. 

The letter reads : 

' Sir, After my hearty commendations, &c. You cannot choose 
(as well as I) but be alarmed on all hands with continual reports of the 
frequency of Conventicles and unlawful meetings of those who, under 
a pretence of religion and the worship of God, separate from the unity 
and uniformity of God's service, to the great offence of all, and fear of 
many his majesty's most faithful subjects, who love and truly endeavour 
the peace and prosperity of the church and state.* His majesty 
in public lately speaking much against these disorderly meetings, and 

* It will be remembered (and should be kept well in mind) that these words were 
put into the lips of the King, in Council, in the Preamble to the Proclamation they 
induced him to publish in July of this year. 

Detailed and Expository 

expressing an indignation against all reports of him, as if he favoured or 
connived at them, was pleased (after he had laid some blame upon the 
bishops for want of care in this affair) to declare that henceforward they 
should not want the assistance of the civil magistrate to suppress them ; 
insomuch that if, hereafter, any bishop shall complain to any justice, 
and require his help, if such justice do not his duty herein, then let the 
bishop certify, that his majesty may know, who are that neglect 
his service. 

'Now, Sir, that I may discharge my duty in this particular diocese, I 
do hereby desire and require of you that having communicated this my 
letter to the reverend Dr. Sancroft, dean of St. Paul's, and archdeacon 
of Cant., you consult him for his advice thereupon, and that by the 
assistance of him and your officials and officers, and all and every the 
parochial ministers, parsons, vicars, and curates, and by all other persons 
and means which shall be thought best, you will make speedy enquiry 
throughout my diocese, as well in places exempt as not exempt. 
4 I. What and how many Conventicles and unlawful assemblies 
4 2. or church meetings are held, in every town and parish ? 
' 3. What are the numbers that usually meet at them, and 
' 4. of what condition or sort of people they consist, and 
4 5. From whom and upon what hopes they look for impunity ? * 
' When any such Conventicles are found out, if by the ecclesiastical 
power and authority they cannot be restrained, you are to complain to 
the next justice or justices ; and if they fail to assist, it will be your 
part to certify their neglect ; which, if at any time there shall be cause 
to do, be sure your certificates be made on good and true grounds, such 
as may all be evidently proved, that there be no failing, when we expect 
redress. These things you are desired and required to put in speedy 
execution, and with all diligence to make your returns to me ; where- 
upon you shall receive further advice and instruction. 
* And so I bid you heartily farewel, and am, 

' Sir, Your very loving friend, 


June 8, 

< MDC : LXIX. 

' Postscript. 

4 Sir, To the enquiries about Conventicles in the body of this 
letter set down, I think fit that these two following be added ; and I 
desire that together with the rest they be enquir'd into viz : 

' 6. Whether the same persons do not meet at several Conventicles, 

which may make them seem more numerous than indeed they are ; and 

4 7. Whether you do not think they might easily be suppressed by 

the assistance of the civil magistrate, the greater part of them being (as 

I hear) women and children, and inconsiderable persons. 


* The italics are the Editor's, as well as the numerals indicating the several points 
on which enquiry was made. 

Episcopal Returns 73 

It will be noted that Sheldon's postscript seems to express the fear 
that the questions in the body of the letter might be construed as 
expressing the desire that the very fullest information should be given ; 
and that the fuller the return, the greater the number of Conventicles 
reported, and the larger the number of frequenters reported, the better 
would the authorities be pleased, and the more inclined would they be 
to praise their subordinates for the zeal shown in their inquisition, and 
the keenness and skill used in ferreting out those who were seeking to 
elude the notice of the authorities. The supplementary questions seem 
almost to suggest that it would be a mistake for the clergy to put the 
numbers of Nonconformists at their maximum, and that reporters would 
better please headquarters were they to show that figures, even when 
carefully given, might very easily exaggerate the facts, and make the 
Nonconformists appear more numerous and influential than they really 

Indeed, such a conclusion is made to appear more than a sagacious 
suspicion by a sentence quoted by Bishop Kennett in his collections 
from the author of the 'Conformist's Plea for the Nonconformists' 
(4to, 1681). On p. 36 of this work the author says: 'In the year 
' 1669 we had several Articles sent down to the Clergy, with private 
' orders to some, to make the Conventicles as few and small as might be. 
' The eighth and last was this " Whether you do think they " (the 
' Dissenters) " might be easily supprest by the assistance of the Civil 
' " Magistrates ?" Some made bold to answer more than Ay or No.' 

The second letter which I reproduce, enshrining these Instructions 
or Enquiries, is preserved in Bishop Kennett's 'Collections,' p. 83 
(Lansdowne MSS., 1023). It is addressed by Sheldon to his brother 
and neighbour, Humfrey Henchman, Bishop of London. 

Kennett entitles it : ' A circular letter from Gilbert, Lord Arch- 
' bishop of Canterbury, to the Bishop of London, concerning the more 
'effectual Suppression of Conventicles,' dated June 8, 1669 : 

' After my hearty Commendations &c 

' Your Ldship, I presume, as well as I, is on all hands alarmed with 
Continual Reports of the frequency of open Conventicles and unlawful 
Meetings of those who under a pretence of Religion and the worship of 
God, separate from the unity and uniformity of God's service to the 
great offence of all and fear of many of his Maties most faithfull sub- 
jects who love and truly endeavour the Peace and Prosperity of y e 
Church and State. Your Ldship (if I mistake not) was present when 
his Matie, lately speaking much against these disorderly meetings, and 
expressing Indignation against all Reports of him as if He either favoured 
or connived at them, was pleased (after he had layd some blame upon 
the Bishops for want of care in this Affair) to declare that henceforward 
they should not want the Assistance of the Civil Magistrate to suppress 

'I have thought fit to desire and require of you to make speedy 
Enquiry. What and how many Conventicles or unlawful assemblies 

Detailed and Expository 

are held in every Town and Parish, What are the Numbers that usually 
meet at them, And of what condition, Who are their Ministers Heads 
or Governours r What authority they pretend for their Meetings and 
from whom and upon what hopes they look for Impunity ? and to send 
Certificates hereof. 

' Your Ldships very affect, friend and Brother, 


'June 8, 1669.' 

The verbal differences in the Queries of these two letters make it 
uncertain in what exact form they were issued to the Bishops throughout 
the country. The variations in the form and fulness of the Returns 
suggest that the Enquiries were not issued in identical terms to all ; 
surely a great defect in so vehement a champion of ' Unity and Uni- 
' formity ' in ' God's service ' as Archbishop Sheldon ! 

From Sheldon's letter to his Commissary and Dr. Sancroft, we 
should gather that he required information on six distinct points at leas: : 

1 . What and how many Conventicles were still being held ? 

2. What were the numbers usually attending them ? 

3. Of what condition or sort of people they consisted ? 

4. From whom and upon what hopes they looked for impunity ? 

5. Whether the same persons do not meet in several Conventicles ? 

6. Whether they might not easily be suppressed by force ? 
Indeed, the first question was a complex one, involving two distinct 

questions : (i) In what parishes were Conventicles still held ? and 
(2) how many Conventicles were held in each parish ? 

In his letter to Henchman, however, there is another particular 
mentioned almost more important than any of the six. ' Who are their 
'Ministers, Heads or Governors?' And what is stranger still, one 
point which is very prominent in most of the Returns is omitted 
altogether from both of these drafts of Questions, viz. : * To what Sect, 
* Pen>wasion or Judgment do the Conventiclers belong ?' 

Strictly speaking, then, the Archbishop required information on no 
less than eight distinct points. Five of them are mentioned in both drafts. 

1. What are the towns or parishes in which Conventicles were held ? 

2. The number of Conventicles held in each this point involving 
an enumeration or description of the * places ' in each town or parish 
where such Conventicles were held. 

3. The numbers usually attending them. 

4. The ' sort or condition ' of such Conventiclers ; and 

5. The authority they relied on for impunity for such conventicling. 
The last of these points, however, does not seem to have been taken 

so seriously as the other four. It was one of the two points mentioned 
in the postcript to Sheldon's letter to the Commissary and Archdeacon. 
And it is noteworthy perhaps quite natural that the other postscript 
point was almost entirely neglected in the Returns (6) ' whether these 
4 Conventicles might easily be suppressed by force ' /.*., by calling in 
the aid of the magistrates' officers and of the military. 

Ipiscopal Returns 75 

Of the other two points on which information was most certainly 
wanted, curiously enough only one was mentioned, and that only in his 
letter to the Bishop of London, viz. : (7) The names of the Ministers, 
Heads, or Governors and even that query was ambiguous as meaning 
either Preachers and Teachers, or simply the most influential supporters, 
or * Abettors.' While the 8th particular as important as any viz., 
the sect to which the Conventiclers belonged, was apparently forgotten 
by Sheldon altogether in both his drafts. 

In drawing the attention of the Student to the variety of informa- 
tion which these 1669 Returns contain, I propose to deal : (i) With the 
points which are common to them all ; and (2) with the characteristics 
of the several Returns. 


These are five, given in the five columns under which most of them 
are drawn up. 

(1) The Meeting-Places reported are generally private houses. But 
sometimes a barn or outhouse was employed ; and in a few instances a 
court-house, a public hall, or even a parish church, when ' vacant,' 
* deserted,' or 'desolate' (i.e., unprovided with a minister). 

(2) The Sects recognized and enumerated are chiefly four : 
(i) Presbyterians ; (2) Congregationalists or Independents ; (3) Baptists 
or Anabaptists ; and (4) Quakers. But there are occasional references 
to : (5) Fifth Monarchists ; (6) Sabbatarians (or Sabbatharians) ; and 
(7) Free Willers. 

(3) The Numbers returned are very various, and we may be sure 
that in most cases they are understated. Round numbers are usually 
given : tens, and scores, and sometimes hundreds. 

In some instances the numbers reported would scarcely bring 
the meeting within the statutable limit, which made it an * unlawful 
assembly,' or 'Conventicle,' according to the terms of the Act of 1664, 
or of the Second Conventicle Act, so soon to be passed in March, 1670. 
The First Conventicle Act required that there should be more than 
four persons present, in addition to the members of the family (or house- 
hold) resident in the house where it was held. And the Second required 
that five persons at least should! be assembled wherever the Conventicle 
was held. Yet in two instances the Bishop of Chichester reports 
one at Yapton ' about 6 ' (R. 171), and one at Ditchling ' about 8 ' 
(R. 172). At Dilhorne George Morley reports < 5 or 6 ' (R. 196), 
and W. Fuller (Lincolne) reports ' about 6 ' at Northill (R. 204), whilst 
at Hubenham (R. 208) and at Wymeswould (R. 210^) the absurd 
number is returned * about 4 * (the legal maximum over and above the 
family or household). 

(4) The Quality column (sometimes spelt 'Qualitie') contains the 
most cynical touches of the whole. These Bishops and clergy evidently 
regard moral character and spiritual life as of small moment as compared 
with wealth and social position, for it is almost wholly these on which 
they comment ; and the exceptions they make are even more discredit- 


Detailed and Expository 

able than their rule, as they consist almost exclusively of the vilest 
aspersions on the Quakers, describing the Conventiclers as * of Evill 
fame, That live in Adultery and Fornication ' [R. 178] (because, for- 
sooth, the Episcopalian clergy do not admit the validity of the Friends' 
simple marriage rites). According to the Bishops, the Conventiclers 
are generally ' meane,' or 'very poore,' or at best 'of the middling sort.' 
A few are ' gentry ' or ' gentlemen,' many are ' mere tradesmen,' their 
trades being mentioned with scorn ; but in other cases, with equally 
cynical frankness, some are reported as ' of pretty good estates ' (R. 231^) . 
On R. 261^ one Acton is admitted to be 'a rich fellow,' while the 
Bishop of Lichfield reports 'a yeoman worth ioo lb per ann ' (R. 193) ; 
and the Bishop of Llandaff does not hesitate to report 'at Langum ' 
[R. 188] of 'some 5OO lb a year, some 200, some 100, some 60, & 
'some 30,' showing greater familiarity with the phraseology of the 
Parable of the Sower than with St. Paul's confession, that ' not many 
' wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called.' 

The real explanation of this most unworthy characteristic is what 
has already been adverted to in Chapter I. of this Section, viz., that the 
Second Conventicle Act made fines the prime penalty of Conventicling, 
and ingeniously passed on to any well-to-do Conventiclers the responsi- 
bility of finding the money for their poorer brethren, from whom, 
owing to their poverty, it was hopeless to expect to extract the money, 
either directly or by distraint of goods. 

Four-fifths of the information given in these 1669 Returns, we thus 
see, concern mainly the Nonconformist laity ; as the 1665 Reports 
mainly concerned the Nonconformist Clergy. Indirectly, however, 
they convey much information about the clergy also. The fifth column 
with its return of the ' Heads,' ' Teachers,' or ' Preachers,' gives 
abundant testimony to the continued activity of the ejected ministers, 
spite the penal statutes ; and this column makes it abundantly evident 
that their ministerial activity was not confined to one parish or even 
to one neighbourhood, as it was perforce when they were ministers of 
the Established Church. These Returns show many of them to be 
exercising quite a missionary ministry, travelling far and wide in their 
preaching ; and so, as in all cases of persecution, from the first great 
persecution after the martyrdom of Stephen onwards, ' being scattered 
' abroad,' they helped ' to confirm their brethren ' in the Nonconformist 
faith in many places, and to spread their protests against the episcopal 

What is more. They show also that a ministry is springing up 
amongst the Nonconformists, from the ranks of those who have never 
been in Episcopalian orders. 

Many who had had no university training and at this period it 
was specially so among the Anabaptists proved their Divine calling to 
the ministry of the Gospel by their manifold and effective ministerial 
gifts ; men who, like the Apostle Paul, maintained themselves by their 
own exertions whether of brain or hand ; some by their professions, 
whether as teachers, schoolmasters, or physicians ; and many more by 
their trades, as husbandmen, or farmers, silkmen, hatters, weavers, 
coopers, clothiers, labourers, or even domestic servants. 

Episcopal Returns 77 


The order in which the Diocesan Reports are given is alphabetical ; 
so that geographically we are often carried as on a magic-carpet many a 
league, and in all sorts of erratic directions in passing from one to 

For convenience sake, in this summary Review of their characteris- 
tics, we will follow the same irrational order. 

1. ST. ASAPH'S. The Bishop was now Dr. Henry Glemham, who 
held the see (according to Stubbs) from 1667 to 1670.* Pepys refers 
to him in his Diary in no very complimentary terms. Under date 
July 29, 1667, just after his elevation, he writes: 'Among other dis- 
4 course my cosen Roger told us a thing certain, that my Lady 
'Castlemaine hath made a Bishop lately, namely, her uncle, Dr. 
4 Glenham, who, I think, they say is Bishop of Carlisle ' this, of course, 
may be correct, though it was to St. Asaph he was actually appointed 
more than two months after ' a drunken, swearing rascal, and a scandal 
* to the Church ; and do now pretend to be Bishop of Lincoln, in com- 
' petition with Dr. Rainbow, who is reckoned as worthy a man as most 
' in the Church for piety and learning.' 

Was he a relative of Sir Thomas Glenham who was very active 
in the service of Charles I., being Governor of York, when it had to be 
surrendered to Fairfax, and held the Garrison of Carlisle till they were 
starved into submission, and lastly was given the government of Oxford 
on the eve of the final collapse of the Royal cause ?f 

If he were, this may account for the military allusions in his brief 
Report, which notices only two ejected ministers (Henry Williams and 
Rowland Nevett) ; and knows far more of the laymen who are 
4 principals and abettors ' of the Conventicles reported. * Edward Price 
of Bettus, a Captaine in y e late Rebellion ' ; and notes that the Quakers 
who gather at Myvod are ' well horsed.' [R. 139.] 

2. BATH AND WELLS. Dr. William Piers was Bishop [* Pierse ' 
(Neal I. 587)], who had held the see from 1637, though (on his death) 
the very next year, 1670, he was to be succeeded by Robert Creighton. 
The diocese covered the County of Somerset. At the beginning of his 
office, thirty-two years before, ' he had shown his prelatical zeal by sup- 
' pressing all lecturers in market towns and elsewhere throughout his 
' diocess, alleging that he saw no such need of preaching now, as was in 
the Apostles' days,' and ' put down all afternoon sermons on Lord's 
' days,' and all explanations of the Catechism, charging ministers ' to 
'ask no questions, nor receive any answers but such as were in the 
Book of Common Prayer' (Neal I. 587). Evidently his was emphati- 
cally the religion of the Prayer Book, and the Act of Uniformity would 
suit him exactly. It is clear that in his old age he was as loyal to the 
Prayer Book as he had been in his youth. In his answers to the 

* He was Dean of Bristol, 1661. 

f He was his younger brother. His father was Sir Henry Glemham, of Glem- 
ham Hall, Suffolk ; and there the Bishop died, January 17, 1669-70. [A. G.] 


Detailed and Expository 

Archbishop's enquiries he takes his own course, and the form of his 
Report, which is very full and careful, is yet quite on a model of his 
own.* He gives no particulars of the Sect to which reported Con- 
venticles belong ; nor of their * Quality ' or ' Abettors.' The first 
column, which is usually headed ' Parishes, and Conventicles in them,' 
is divided into two : the first giving the name of the Parish only, and 
the second, the meeting-place. In most cases this is a private house ; 
but he notes four in which the Conventicle is held in a ' Barne ' (two in 
Bath Easton, one in Beckington, and one in Glaston, in which *a 
* Pulpitt and seats are built ') ; one in which they meet in a 4 sheep- 
4 house ' (at Dunkerton) ; one in which it is held in * a Publique Inn ' 
viz., at Bath ; and one in which it is held in * the Parish Church.' 
This last was in Cameley, a remarkable proof of the depth of the 
influence of the Puritan pastor, Richard Batchelaur, who had retired to 
his own private estate in the north-west corner of Hampshire, where 
three years later he took out licences for two houses he held in 
Ashmansworth and East Woodhay. 

The numbers frequenting these Conventicles are reported as con- 
siderable, varying from 18 at Nether Stowey, and 20 at St. Mary, 
Axbridge, to hundreds, I to 700. Of the 80 instances in which the 
numbers are given, the total attendance reported is over 11,000 (all in 
the County of Somerset, be it remembered), so that the average comes 
out as nearly 115. In the Conventicles reported, therefore, there must 
have been regular Nonconformist worshippers in Somerset of over 13,000. 

The special feature of these Returns is the number of teachers 
reported, nearly all of them ejected Nonconformist ministers. Two 
things appear with equal distinctness. Each of these preachers 
ministered to several congregations: and conversely each of these 
congregations was ministered to by several preachers. 

A careful study of these Returns would enable the historian to trace 
the circuit activity of these thirty ejected Nonconformists with some- 
thing like completeness. There were ten, who preached in a circuit of 
five places or over, deserving of special mention : 

(1) To five: Richard Allen, ejected from Batcombe; Thomas 
Creese, from Combe Hay ; John Turner, from North Cricket ; 
Timothy Batt, from Riston ; John Gardiner, from Staplegrove ; and 
Henry Butler, from Yeovil. 

(2) To six : Thomas Safford, from Bicknoller. 

(3) To seven : John Bush, from Langport ; Robert Drake, from 
West Monkton ; and George Bindon, from Wilton. 

(4) To nine : John Baker, from Currey Mallett; and, 

(5) Most remarkable case of all, John Galpin, from Ashpriors, 
who preached to a round of no less than fifteen places. 

3. CANTERBURY. This small Diocese, extending only over half the 
County of Kent (i.e., the part East of the Medway), was under the 
vigilant eye of Gilbert Sheldon himself, Archbishop of the Province, as 
well as Bishop of the Diocese. 

* Probably the work was actually done by his son and namesake the Archdeacon 
of Bath. [A. G.] 

Episcopal Retur?ts 79 

Curiously enough, the form of his report differs somewhat from the 
model adopted for the ' generality ' of the Dioceses. The third column 
is made to combine the two details of < Numbers & Quality,' whereas 
the latter has generally the fourth column to itself (or in combination 
with ' Abettors ') ; and the fourth column, instead of ' Quality ' gives 
4 Principalls & Abettors.' 

In the City of Canterbury itself, a most careful and interesting 
account is given. It is clear that the Independents, under the leader- 
ship of John Durant and Francis Taylor, are the most influential and 

Numbers of those attending the Conventicles are ventured on in 
only 8 instances. [In Canterbury, 500 Independents at least ; in Ash, 
200 or 300 of the same sect ; in Wye, 50 or 60 Baptists ; in Ashford, 
200 or 300 Presbyterians and Independents; in Davington, 100 
Presbyterians ; and in Marden about 20 ; while in Chislett, the 
Baptists muster 80 or 100 ; and at Hearne, 40 or 50.] In all the rest 
he contents himself with the vaguest expressions : c Numerous,' ' not so 
4 numerous,' ' very numerous,' ' a great number,' ' not so great,' { some 
* few,' * not considerable for number,' { inconsiderable.' 

The Nonconformist ministers he specially mentions. The Report 
Would certainly give the impression that Nonconformity in Eastern Kent 
was not strong, save in Canterbury, Sandwich, and Ashford. It is only 
fair, however, to say that it sets the example to several other Dioceses 
Chichester, Ely, Lincolne, Sarum, Worcester in the punctiliousness 
with which the names of all the parishes are given, even where there 
are no Conventicles to report. 

4. CHICHESTER. This year saw the end of the bishopric of Henry 
King, who died October I, 1669, and the beginning of that of Peter 
Gunning. Henry King received the Archbishop's instructions ; but it 
was Peter Gunning who sent in the Returns, who was consecrated 
March 6, 1669-70.* 

Of all the Bishops, Peter Gunning was perhaps the most bigoted, 
eager, and virulent against all Nonconformists. He had adhered 
to the Prayer Book despite Parliament's ordinance against its use, 
employing the Liturgy in his services at Exeter House, Strand, all 
through the Commonwealth period. Evelyn f and Pepys,]: we note from 
their Diaries, frequented his services, and thought most highly of his 
sermons. He had great confidence in his own position in point alike of 
theology and ritual ; and had a great contempt for all who presumed to 
differ from him. After the Second Conventicle Act had been passed 
(1670), the year after the sending in of this Return, he demeaned him- 
self to act the part of bailiff or constable, personally visiting places 
where Conventicles were being held, and if the doors were fastened 
using force to obtain admission to the building. Nay, he even chal- 
lenged Nonconformists to public disputation on the points of differ- 

* In Bishop Kennett's 'Collections,' under date March 6, 1669-70, we have this 
entry (Landsdovvne MSS., 1023) : ' Die Dominico 6 Martis Peter Gunning S.T.P. in 
' Episcopium Cicestr. consecratus ab Archb? Cant, in Capella Lambethiana.' 

t Vide Evelyn's Diary, December 2 and 25, 1657. 

J Vide Pepys's Diary, January i, 1660, and note. 


Detailed and Expository 

ence between them and the Established Church ; and then displayed 
great arrogance and violence in his conduct of the meetings. 

The Report for the County of Sussex is not satisfactory. Twenty- 
four Conventicles are reported without particularizing the sect : twelve 
are credited to the Baptists (always as Anabaptists), eight to the 
Quakers, four to the Presbyterians, and only three to the Independents 
(one each at East Grinstead and Lewes ; and one, in association with 
the Presbyterians at Trotton cum Tuxlith). 

One Conventicle is reported at Wartling, near Pevensey, the Sect, 
Quality, and Teachers of which are undesignated, but yet admittedly 
consisting of * many persons of considerable estates' [R. 174^]. He 
concedes, also, that ' Some of y e gentry attended the Conventicle ' at 
Stedham [R. 171] ; and that at the Westmeston Conventicle 4 many ' 
of the Conventiclers were ' of good estate.' The greater number of 
those reported as 'Heads & Teach rs> are ejected Nonconformist 
ministers some score or so ; and several of them are reported as 
ministering to several Conventicles in different places, so that interest- 
ing details of their activities at this time might be culled ifrom these 

This is the first instance, though (as we have already seen) not the 
only one in which we come across the tantalizing note : < See the 
names in the Returne,' which reminds us how much information we 
have lost through the disappearance of these original Returns. 

5. ELY. Benjamin Laney was Bishop of this Diocese ; the third see 
he had occupied since the Restoration, the first being Peterborough, 
which he held 1660 to 1662-63, and the second Lincoln, from 1662-63 
to 1667. It was his third year of office in Ely, in succession to Matthew 
Wren, a man of very different spirit. Matthew Wren was a great 
Laudian and Royalist, and had suffered much for his devotion to King 
and Prelacy, vestments and Prayer Book, having lain eighteen years in 
the Tower without a trial, though restored to his see on the Restoration, 
and had he survived to respond to Sheldon's Instructions and Enquiries, 
we should doubtless have had a much more complete Return than we 
have from his successor. 

For Laney was very averse to the persecution of Nonconformists, 
and so was purposely slack in getting and publishing information which 
would have brought it upon them. At any rate, of Oliver's Puritan 
County, Huntingdon, he sends in no report at all ; and his Report of 
Cambridge is just such as we might expect from one who was said to 
look at these things ' through his fingers.' He sees hardly any Noncon- 
formists in the County. Of the Sects in Ely Deanery, he sees only 
Quakers, Anabaptists, and Sabbatarians ; in Chesterton Deanery, 
Independents and Quakers ; in Shengay Deanery, only Baptists ; in 
Barton and Bourne Deaneries, no sects are distinguished ; in Castle 
Camps Deanery, only Baptists, and Quakers ; and in Cambridge 
Deanery, Baptists, Quakers, and ' Fanaticks.' The only University- 
trained preachers whom he names in the Report are Francis Holcroft 
and his associates Joseph Oddey, Samuel Corbyn, James Day, Thomas 

Episcopal Returns 81 

Lock, and John Wayt. The t other teachers are only c Farmers, Tailors, 
4 Labourers, or Bricklayers.'* 

The numbers he reports are generally few, from 10, n, and 12 
up to 100 (the highest). The two exceptions are a Quaker meet- 
ing of 200 at Over, and another Conventicle of 400 or 500 at 
Trumpington. His account of their Quality is very contemptuous. 
Only in the Ely Deanery does he admit there are ' some Rich.' In 
every other case he rings the changes on the following : * Meane 
' mechanicks,' ' most meane,' ' very meane,' ' Inconsiderable/ ' of Low 
4 Condition,' < of y e common, vulgar sort,' ' very poore condition, scarce 
4 a yeoman amongst them,' or ' most women,' * more women than men.' 
To his disgrace, too, it is Benjamin Laney who puts in this description 
of the Conventiclers at Button (it is clear that they were Quakerst) : 
4 Many of Evill Fame, That live in Adultery and Fornication ' simply 
because they had not been married according to the rites of the Church 
of England. 

6. EXETER. Here Anthony Sparrow was Bishop a still greater con- 
trast to his predecessor than Laney was to Wren. Like Laney at Ely, he 
had occupied the See only two years, for he succeeded Seth Ward on his 
translation to Sarum. Seth Ward was second only to the Archbishop 
himself in the vigour and ability with which he was pressing forward 
the policy of suppression and persecution of the Nonconforming clergy. 

We have seen already the accuracy and completeness of his Returns 
in 1665 for both Devon and Cornwall. And, judging from the character 
of those he sent in this year from Sarum (for Berks and Wilts), we are 
sure that had he remained at Exeter those sent in for the much larger 
area of this Diocese would have been equally full, and of incomparable 
value from an historian's point of view. Anthony Sparrow, however, 
had neither the spirit nor the energy to take the trouble necessary to 
secure such a result ; so that we have a very brief and fragmentary report 
for two counties, which, as we know, were saturated with Puritanism. 

* To Congregationalists it should be matter for satisfaction and a worthy sort of 
pride that that cultivated apostolic band, Holcroft and his comrades, were all of the 
Congregationall Perswasion. ' 

The Bishop, however, seemed puzzled by the phenomenon of well-educated, even 
learned men, like Holcroft, Corbyn, Oddey, Day, and Lock, scouring the country, 
and forming ' gathered ' churches wherever they went. He scarcely knows how to 
describe them. ' Congregational ' is a term he does not seem to know, though that 
is the denominational name by which they describe themselves when applying for 
licences three years later. 

Conventicles which they had gathered and to which they ministered are reported 
as far north as Haddenham, within the Isle of Ely ; and as far south as Meldreth, 
with Willingham and Over, Ockington, Milton and Histon, between Haddenham 
and Cambridge, and Stow cum Quoy, only five miles from it ; and Orwell, south- 
west between Cambridge and Meldreth. 

Only four of the ten does the Bishop designate. The Conventicles at Had- 
denham and Over, according to him or his informants, are of ' Fanatiques.' Those 
at Ockington and Histon are of Independents. The rest he cannot or will not 
describe. Was this waywardness in the manner of alluding to them indicative of 
the difficulty the Bishop felt as to the way he ought to treat them, or only of the 
varying attitude towards these educated Nonconformists of the local clergy from 
whom the Reports of their ' conventicling ' were sent up ? 

t John Crooke, whom he reports as their Teacher, was a wealthy and learned 
Quaker, a Justice of the Peace, whose seat was Beckerings Park, near Ridgmont, 
Beds. [' Journal of George Fox ' (Camb.) i. 428.] 


Detailed and Expository 

He was most devoted to the ritual of the Prayer Book ; but he 
showed it rather by books learnedly expounding it than by practical 
means for enforcing it, and his report for his large Diocese covers only 
two pages. Cornwall is untouched, and he returns Conventicles only 
in nine parishes in the whole of Devon ; a county in which his prede- 
cessor had reported 56 Nonconformist ministers as resident only four 
years before (and another 16 in Cornwall), and in which only three 
years later no less than 233 licences were taken out for Presbyterians, 
59 for Congregationalists, and n for Baptists 303 in all [and 61 
licences were taken out in Cornwall], 

He rarely seems to know the sect of the Conventicles which he does 
report. None are described as Baptists. He only mentions Inde- 
pendents, Presbyterians, and Quakers. The numbers reported are 
generally high : three are of 100 each, three of 200 or 300, and one at 
Collumpton of * nigh 500.' The only exceptions are Mr. Mawditt's 
at Ottery St. Mary, where the numbers are ' few '; and the Quakers at 
Thorncombe, who are described as ' inconsiderable.' The ' Qualitie ' 
of some is admitted to be high, ' gentry and tradesmen of good note ' at 
Ottery St. Mary; but the common designations are contemptuous 
enough 'inconsiderable,' * young persons of the meaner sort,' 'mean' 
or 'vulgar sort.' 

One thing is noteworthy, that everyone of the eighteen reported as 
'Heads and Teachers' are ejected Nonconformists [18, be it noted, as 
compared with Seth Ward's 56]. It is deplorable that the Returns are 
so meagre where they might have been so full. 

7. LLANDAFF. Of this important Diocese, including the whole of 
Monmouth and all Glamorgan, except Gower (which was in the 
Diocese of St. David's), Francis Lloyd was Bishop, who came to the See 
the same year (1667) in which Anthony Sparrow was installed at 
Exeter, and Benjamin Laney went to Ely. His report covers six pages, 
and shows equal attention paid to the various parts of the Diocese. As 
to the Sects, it is a remarkable fact that though three years later nearly 
all the licences taken out under the Indulgence were for Independents or 
Congregationalists, this Bishop only twice mentions them, and then 
he lumps them together with Anabaptists, Catabaptists, and Quakers. 
Such a circumstance bespeaks either great ignorance of the facts, or an 
intentional misrepresentation of them. It is difficult to believe that it 
was ignorance, as these Reports were the result of a special enquiry, so 
that the misrepresentation must have been caused by a special grudge 
against them or by a special desire to screen them. The numbers of 
Conventiclers vary from tens to hundreds, the largest number being 600 
at Merthyr Tydfil. 

As to Quality, though he reports 'Tradesmen' twice and 'old 
'Militiamen,' as well as ' some Farmers ' and others 'of meane Qualitie/ 
he admits that at Cavelion (Caerlion) 'there are many persons of good 
' Estates, being Countrey Gent ' (/'.*., ' County gentlemen ') ' & such as 
' either were in Actuall Armes in the late Rebellion, or bred up under 
'such'; at Newport, Monmouth, 'some Gent,' and at Llangibby 'some 
'freeholders'; whilst at Langwm, Monmouth, there are amongst the 
Conventiclers 'some men of competent parts & breeding, & have bin in 

Episcopal Returns 83 

' y e time of the Late Rebellion in Offices both military and Civill,' and 
then gives their value in s. d. some of ^500, some 200, some 60, 
and some .30 a year quite after the model of the varying crops of the 
good seed in the Parable of the Sower.* 

8. LICHFIELD AND COVENTRY. John Hacket was Bishop of this See, 
and there is no doubt of the strength of his attachment to the State 
Church. He had been appointed to a Diocese in which the Cathedral 
had been used as a fortress of the Royalists in the Civil Wars ; it was 
from the tower of the central spire that Lord Brook had been shot 
(exactly as Nelson was shot from the shrouds of the Redoubtable]. From 
such unspiritual uses it had naturally suffered much, so that it came into 
Racket's hands in a state of ruin ; but so real was his love for it, that he 
spent his personal fortune in its restoration. It was but human nature 
that he could not look with very much tenderness on those whose 
spiritual kinsmen had inflicted such ugly scars on the fair fabric of his 
Cathedral Church, and that he should be specially keen to note any 
trace of militarism lingering in the Nonconformists of his Diocese. 

And so it is we find him reporting Colonel Saunders, Major Philip 
Prinn [< Philip Prinn, who was a souldier ag 1 the King, all or most part 
< of the late times of Rebellion '], Captain or Major Barton (twice), 
1 a souldier against the King, & a minister att the beginning of the 
' warres, who purchased some of the King's lands which he hath lost, 
4 and is highly Discontented.' ' M r Hennealse, formerly a Captaine,' a 
nameless ' person,' who is c a Nonconformist minister out of Lincoln- 
' shire, formerly in Armes against the King ', & * Richard Clementson 
4 who was in armes against the King.' He reports one Conventicle, too, 
in Matlock, ' where they sound a trumpett to call them together ' a note 
absolutely unique in the whole of these Episcopal Returns. As natural 
a trace, too, of his political animus is the description of * M r Browne ' of 
Milford, Salop, as c a member of Oliver's Little Parliament.' 

It is a picturesque touch he gives in reporting a meeting which the 
Quakers of Ashford intended holding in the house of Hugh Martin, 
that the Justices' Warrant being brought to hinder them, * they went 
4 into a Moore & kept their Conventicle.' 

In describing the Sects represented in the various Conventicles, he 
names most frequently Presbyterians, Anabaptists, and Quakers. Con- 
gregationalists and Independents he knows not, or wilfully ignores ; only 
once mentioning the 4 Brownists ' at Shenster, and then with Quakers. 
The numbers reported as attending the Conventicles are generally small, 
from 20 to 30 ; in three places they reached 100 or over at Barton 
Dassett, Mickleover, and Birmingham; at Stenson (though only a 
hamlet), there are about 160 ; and at Darlaston, from 100 to 200 ; at 
Sedgley, about 200 ; at Wednesbury and Matlock, from 200 to 300 ; 
at Little Ireton, from 200 to 400 ; and at Walsall, above 300. 
The highest number is at the Leather Hall, Coventry, where, to 

* It is a very singular fact that from 200 to 30, the figures also appear in 
the 'Numbers' column, 'sometimes 200, 100, 60, 30.' Was this a mistake of the 
editor in drawing up the precis ? or were the figures of the Parable ringing in the 
ears of the Minister who made the original Return ? 


84 Detailed and Expository 

hear Mr. Samuel Bryan, they get almost 11,000. At Nuneaton, where 
Dr. Wild is (the Puritan lampoonist), the Bishop reports that the 
number attending his ministry have risen lately from 30 to 120 or 
more ; and at Stoke-upon-Trent the parson had been very candid, for he 
admits : ' They have more company than ye parish Church.' And in 
one case we are left to infer the number as 90 at least, because the 
informer reports that 'they of (have) gathered 155. in fines for onemeet- 
' ing, at 2d. per pole.' 

Hacket is no more complimentary than most of his brother Bishops 
in describing the * Quality ' of the Conventiclers. They are ' meane 
' people,' ' people of meane Quality,' ' the meaner sort of common 
' people,' ' inconsiderable fellows,' though in one case (viz., at Stenson), 
he has to admit that they are abetted by 'divers considerable persons,' 
naming no less than thirteen. 

In reporting the Teachers he evidently keeps an eye upon the 
ejected Nonconformists, reporting some thirty-five as preaching at 
different Conventicles, showing a special antipathy for Presbyterians 
(noting one as ' Presbyterially ordained and a zealous Nonconformist'.)* 
He evidently relishes the absence of culture in many of the Baptist 
speakers. At Bakewell he reports ' a shoemaker, a husbandman and a 
' tailor J ; at Stoke the two speakers are ' illiterate persons,' and at Ather- 
stone, the Teacher is 'a mercer.' He records the reasons alleged for 
holding these Conventicles, spite the penal statutes in the Archdeaconry 
of Derby : (i) The expiration of the Act of Parliament [the First 
Conventicle Act had really run out in 1667-68] ; (2) the hope of its 
being dissolved ; (3) the King's Allowance ; (4) friends at Court : and 
those adduced by the Papists at Hathersage are ' All these hopes are 
' from the Clemency of the King & Parliament.' 

But a unique and very interesting feature of Hacket's Report is that 
he cites in three instances the contumacious words spoken at some of the 
Conventicles in his Diocese : (i) John Stone of Stenson says : 'he was 
' not sorry for carrying on that Conventicle, saying : " The King gave 
'"them liberty'"; (2) at Mickleover, Edward "Fleming said to 'a 
' soldier of the trained band who was sent to suppress a meeting : "Draw 
' " thy sword, if thou Darest " '; and (3) at Lascoe, John Bredsall, who 
at the beginning of the wars ' had preached up the Rebellion against the 
' King,' used these words : ' " He that Despiseth the Covenant, I say, I 
' " say, shall surely goe to Hell." ' 

9. LINCOLN. This Diocese was as yet uncurtailed, and included 
the Counties of Bedford, Leicester, Bucks, and parts of Herts and Hunts, 
besides the County of Lincoln. 

The Bishop was William Fuller, who had come to the See (like 
Lloyd and Laney and Sparrow) in the year 1667, was devoted to the 
cause of the Church and Church-order, and sends in a very voluminous 
Return, covering nearly thirty pages. Though the general historians 
say little or nothing about him, we gather a vivid impression of him 
from the pages of Pepys. He and Fuller had been College friends 

* Though there were certainly many Independents in this Diocese, the Bishop 
observes the same curious silence concerning them which we have noted in the Sees 
of Ely and Llandaff. 

Episcopal Returns 85 

together at Magdalen College, Cambridge, and William Fuller seems 
to have cherished the friendship with Pepys all through his life. From 
the time of his obscurity in the living at Twickenham through his 
successive elevations to the Deanery of St. Patrick's (1660),* the 
Bishopric of Limerick (1663) to the See of Lincoln (1667), he seems 
glad to have gone to Pepys' house and enjoyed free intercourse with 
him ; and on his last elevation Pepys expresses his special delight 
because the Palace of the Bishops of Lincoln at Buckdon in Hunts (he 
calls it ' Bugden ') is so near Brampton, the Pepys' ancestral home. 
William Fuller's love of Church-order and official dignity is shown by 
what Pepys tells us (under date June 9, 1661) of his indignation at the 
admission to holy orders, by the Bishop of Galway, of a certain Round- 
tree, ' a simple mechanique that was a person formerly of the fleet ' ; 
but Pepys dwells most upon his personal qualities. On July 18, 1666, he 
relates how on returning home he found ' by appointment, Dr. Fuller, 
'now Bishop of Limericke, in Ireland,' going on to say, 'whom I knew 
' in his low condition at Twittenham, and find the Bishop the same 
' good man that ever, and in a word kind to us, and methinks, one of 
' the comeliest and most becoming prelates in all respects that ever I 
'saw in my life.' And on January 23, 1667-8, he tells us : 'At noon I 
''find the Bishop of Lincolne come to dine with us. ... And there 
'mighty good company. But the Bishop a very extraordinary good- 
' natured man, and one that is mightily pleased, as well as I am, that I 
' live so near Bugden, the seat of his Bishopricke, where he is likely to 
' reside ; and indeed I am glad of it.' The curious thing is that though 
his Reports of Bedford, Leicester, Bucks, and part of Herts are very full, 
he sends nothing about Lincoln nor Hunts, in which personally one 
would suppose he would take the closest interest, since the Cathedral is 
in the one county, and the Episcopal Palace is in the other. 

(i) In the Return from Bedfordshire, there are several peculiarities : 

The houses where the Conventicles are held in the several parishes 

are not particularized, nor the names of the householders given. The 

Sects reported are chiefly Quakers (17 Conventicles), and Anabaptists 

(n). The Independents have only 4, and the Presbyterians only 2. 

The numbers attending them range in each Sect from 6 (the 
Quakers at Northall) to about 100 (Independents with Quakers at 
Keysoe); but the average is about 40 or 50. The Quality is reported 
with the greatest contempt (showing that this Bishop's good nature is 
reserved for 'good Church folks'). They are 'ordinary' or 'vulgar 
' sort,' of ' meane condition,' of the ' meaner sort,' or ' meanest sort ' ; 
the highest encomium being ' middle sort ' (of course referring wholly to 
their social standing or financial position). 

In his reports of ' Heads & Teachers,' what is most noticeable is the 
scarcity of ' ejected Nonconformists,' ' men of university training.' 
There are only four such in the whole list a palpable misrepresenta- 

* When in Ireland, Fuller was the poet who penned for the Irish consecrations, 
in 1661, the inspiring lines : 

' Angels look down with joy to see 

Like that above a Monarchic, 
Angels look down with joy to see 

Like that above an Hierarchic.' [A. G.] 

86 Detailed and Expository 

tion. They are nearly all tradesmen or farmers. But in the group 
connected with Bedford, while of course we miss John Bunyan himself 
(he was still in Bedford County Gaol), we recognize the associates of 
John Bunyan who, three years later, claim and share with their chief 
the liberty of the Royal Indulgence, securing licences under it ; and in 
two interesting notes (R. 202 and 203), William Foster, Esq., is 
prominent (afterwards Dr. William Foster, J.P.), their chief persecutor 
(who is made memorable by Dr. John Brown's vivid narrative of his 
entrance to the spacious room at Harlington House, holding up a 
candle, and of his show of feigned affection, 'as he exclaimed,' seeing by 
the light of his uplifted candle who it was, * What, John Bunyan !'). 

(2) In the Return from Leicestershire, there is the same absence of 
description of the meeting-places, except in the very last item in his 
list, where we are told (in form which would have elsewhere made that 
first column so much more informing) ' a Quaker gathering of some 
4 fifty or sixty meet in Widow West's house,' at ' Gurfeild.' 

The Sects here are very differently represented as compared with 
the adjoining county : for here the Anabaptists are most numerous 
(with 20 Conventicles) ; the Presbyterians rank next with 18 ; and the 
Quakers muster 13. But the Independents have only 9 ; and only one 
of these to themselves (viz., one of about 50 at Mount Sorrell). In all 
the other eight, they meet with Presbyterians. This unwonted harmony 
between two sects, which (in London and elsewhere) are mutually 
suspicious and keep aloof from each other, appears in a single district, 
the part of the county south of Leicester. 

The ' Quality ' reported is much the same as in Bedford, save that 
4 Conventicles are admitted to be composed of ' the better sort ' ; 3 at 
Mount Sorrel (one each of Anabaptists, Independents, and Quakers), 
and one (of 20) of an unknown Sect at Wanlip. 

In the matter of Teachers, again, the contrast between the counties 
is very marked. While in Bedford the ejected ministers are the few, in 
Leicester they are the many ; and the greater number those who had 
been ejected from livings in the county, though some have migrated 
from the neighbouring Counties of Nottingham, Shropshire, Northamp- 
ton, Stafford, and Cambridge. In this case, as in the County of Wilts, 
the Nonconformist ministers seem to have formed themselves into 
circuits, preaching at several places in turn. 

This is true at any rate of Matthew Clarke (who is reported at no 
less than 12 places), John Shuttlewood (at 7), and Richard Southwell 
(who is reported as ' Southall ' at 3 places, and as < Southam ' at 2). 

(3) In Bucks, he fortunately resumes the practice, adopted with such 
interesting results in other counties and Dioceses, of giving the house- 
holders' names where Conventicles were held. Amongst these the 
names of John Raunce and Isaac Pennington among the Quakers, and 
of Mrs. Fleetwood amongst the Presbyterians, are specially noteworthy. 
Of the four Sects, the Quakers and Baptists vastly predominate : 
24 Conventicles being reported of the former, and 17 of the latter, of 
which one is a small meeting styling themselves ' Antipaedobaptists.' 
Only 6 Presbyterian Conventicles are returned, and 3 Independent ; 
and 2 (in each of them) is a joint meeting. 

Episcopal Returns 87 

The numbers reported in this county, in almost every case, are very 
small ; but there are two exceptions to this. There is one Presbyterian 
Conventicle of two to three hundred at Wyrardsbury and Colebrooke ; 
and one, of Presbyterians and Independents combined, at Wycombe 
Magna, designated in lofty irony ' a holy towne,' which is allowed to be 
* very great and y e persons very insolent.' In four cases the report as to 
numbers is unique, inasmuch as the numbers in attendance are declared 
to be ' decreasing ' ; all of them in the Ouse Valley viz., one each at 
Shenley and Stony Stratford, and two at Olney (about two hundred). 

In the ' Quality ' column, there are some interesting features. The 
description of the first Conventicle named 'None of any Qualitie,' 
reminds us of the modern slang 'no class.' Besides the frequent 
designations of ' meane,' ' meaner sort,' and ' inconsiderable,' the 
Anabaptist Conventicle at Dinton is called ' very indigent.' A Quaker 
meeting at Horton is composed of ' silly women and excommunicate 
' persons ' ; and another Conventicle at Bledlow, whose denomination is 
not given in these Returns, but which from the Licence documents 
referring to the place was evidently Presbyterian, shares the distinction 
as being ' most silly women.' 

In many instances, however, the names of individual Conventiclers 
are given (I suppose, as belonging to the ' Quality ') ; two of them 
being worthy of special notice, even in this general review : Mr. 
William Guy, formerly a J.P. at Wycombe Magna, in whose house is 
< a Pulpit ' ; and Mrs. Fleetwood, of Chalfont St. Giles, kinswoman of 
the Parliamentary general of that name, and hostess of a remarkable 
company of learned and cultured Nonconformist ministers, in which, for 
some six months in the Plague year 1665, John Milton had been a 
centre of attraction. 

Amongst the Teachers, the ejected ministers and laymen about 
equally divide the honours ; and the former in equal numbers come 
from neighbouring counties, and from different parts of Bucks. The 
arrogant animus which describes one so noble and so notable as 
Nathaniel Vincent,* who had been ejected from Langley, when he 
is reported as preaching to a Conventicle of two hundred or three 
hundred at Wyrardsbury and Colebrook (now known as Wraysbury and 
Colnbrook) as 'one Vincent' is very pitiable: the dishonesty which 
deliberately ignores the fact that Edward Bagshaw, M.A., was the 
ejected minister of Ambrosden, Oxfordshire, and simply calls him ' late 
4 student of Christ Church, Oxon,' as though he had never been in the 
ministry at all ; and the carelessness which calls George Swinnock, 
ejected from Great Kymble as ' Mr. Swynnow,' when reporting him 
as Teacher ; and ' Mr. Synnow,' when naming his house at Amersham 
as a meeting-place for above one hundred Presbyterians ; and Richard 
Swinfen, ejected from Marston in Staffordshire as ' Mr. Swinfrow, an 
* ejected minister,' is remarkable and inexcusable in one who could be 
exact enough when he chose. The triumvirate who were welcomed 

* He had covered himself with honour to all right-minded people by the zeal and 
self-denying devotion with which he had ministered to thousands in London City, 
rendered spiritually as well as physically homeless by the Great Fire, often preach- 
ing to crowds in the spaces within the city covered only by ashes and smoking 


Detailed and Expository 

under Mrs. Fleetwood's hospitable roof at Chalfont St. Giles, and 
honoured the little Presbyterian Conventicle there by their frequent 
ministry, is certainly noteworthy for their culture and learning : Edward 
Terry from Greenford Magna (Middlesex), Dr. Edmund Staunton from 
Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and Samuel Cradock from Cadbury in 
Somerset. The obscure and confused connection with Waddesden or 
two ministers who are reported as preaching at Whitchurch demands 
explanation. Calamy gives Mr. Robert Bennett as ejected from 
Waddesden ; but he is here reported as simply ' a Teacher formerly ' ; 
whereas Mr. Henry Eeling is referred to in this Report as ' ejected att 
' Waddeden ' ; Calamy stating that a Mr. John Ellis also ' had another 
' of the three rectories there.' Indeed, every one of the names men- 
tioned in these Returns for Bucks would repay careful research into the 
facts. Nor should we fail specially to notice the two remarks the 
Bishop thinks it worth his while to report : (i) At Wraysbury 'they 
' say they will uphold their Conventicle in spite of King or Bishop ' ; 
(2) at Newton Blostomville, the Conventiclers are such as say 'they 
' value Hot his Majesty's Clemency a pin.' 

(4) For Herts, there is nothing except a Paper touching the Towne 
of Hertford ; but that is so remarkable as to make amends for the 
absence of aught else. The description of the great Quaker, Captain 
Crooke (mentioned in the Bucks Report (R. 213) as ' John Crooke als 
' Croote '), is most interesting ; while the disgraceful case of the clergy- 
man Austin has about it elements of high comedy enough to fit it for 
treatment by Dr. Wild, or Sam Butler, were it not that the Report 
honestly concludes : ' Tis wisht there were other Clergy men of better 
' Fame and better qualifyed to deal with that Factious people '! (R. 216). 

10. LONDON. This Report touches each part of the Diocese, which 
included besides the City of London and its immediate suburbs north of 
the Thames, the whole of Middlesex, the County of Essex, that part of 
Herts which constituted the Archdeaconry of St. Albans, and Winslow 
in Bucks. 

Considering the importance of the districts included, the Report is 
disappointingly meagre. In Middlesex, the Bishop sends Reports from 
only three places : Uxbridge, on its extreme western border, and Hackney 
and Edmonton on the extreme east. From Essex, which was so 
strongly Nonconformist that in 1672 (only three years later) no less than 
157 licences were taken out under the Declaration of Indulgence, there 
come the briefest and most imperfect reports, covering barely two pages ; 
only naming the towns and villages where Conventicles are held, and 
one or two Teachers at each, but giving no particulars as to the build- 
ings used as Meeting-Places, as to the numbers frequenting the Con- 
venticles, the Sects represented, or the Quality of the Conventiclers. 
From Herts we have two and a half pages, and just one about Winslow, 
in Berks. But what is most deplorable of all is that on London and 
the suburbs, the Metropolis of the country and the great stronghold of 
Nonconformity, as well as the asylum of scores of refugees from the 
Provinces, we have only five and a half pages. 

Though we may be thankful even for such small mercies, seeing 
that in 1665 the Bishop sent up no Return whatever ; though a Return 

Episcopal Returns 89 

complete and full, like Seth Ward's for the Counties of Devon and 
Cornwall, would have been priceless, for the materials it would have 
afforded the historical student in tracing the history of the ninety 
ministers (and over) who were ejected from the City proper, as 
well as the score or so just outside the City walls. The fact is, that 
Humfrey Henchman had little of the energy and organizing skill of his 
predecessor, now Primate, nor the conscientiousness or exactness of Seth 

Baxter speaks well of him in his account of the Savoy Conference. 
After referring to Bishop Morley as the chiefest speaker and most 
frequent interrupter (of the Puritan party), and to Bishop Cosins, the 
great canonist of the Episcopalians, Baxter says of Henchman, at that 
time Bishop of Salisbury : He ' was of most grave, comely, reverend 

* Aspect, of any of them. . . .' He * spake calmly and slowly, and not very 
4 oft ; but was as high in his Principles and Resolutions as any of them ' 
(' Reliquiae Baxterianae,' Part II. , p. 363). And Pepys seems to have 
been as favourably impressed as Baxter by Henchman's personal appear- 
ance, when in 1663-64, soon after his elevation to the See of London 
(February 28), he saw him in St. Paul's Cathedral. His words are : < But 
' what was extraordinary, the Bishop of London, who sat there in a pew 

* made a' purpose for him by the pulpitt, do give the last blessing to the 
' congregation ; which was, he being a comely old man, a very decent 
' thing, methought.' He was evidently an old man in 1664. His hand- 
writing, too, in a letter preserved in the State Papers,* touch ing the preach- 
ing of Nonconformist ministers in the City churches in 1665 (the year of 
the Great Plague), bears evident traces of his age ; so that his infirmity 
should be remembered in considering his Report (four years later still r 
1669) .t 

(i) It is necessary to observe at the outset that it was only three 
years since the Great Fire had reduced the City to ashes, so that we 
must not be surprised to find that though (as just stated) there were 
over ninety ministers ejected from City churches in 1662, only six Con- 
venticles are reported for the area destroyed by the Fire, and only one 
building reported as * erected for the purpose ' of public worship, viz., 
Thomas Doolittle's, in Mugwell Street (now Monkwell Street). Still, 
Mr. Calamy (the historian's father) is reported as preaching near the 
ashes of his father's church in Aldermanbury ; Mr. John Wells, in Great 
Wood Street, preaches within bowshot of his old church, St. Olave's, 
Old Jewry ; Mr. Thomas Gonge clings to the ruins of his old church, 
St. Sepulchre's, for he is reported as preaching 'next doore to the 
4 Windmill against St. Sepulchre's'; nor had Mr. Caryll gone far from 
St. Magnus', London Bridge, for he is preaching in Alderman Thomas 
Knight's, in Leadenhall Street. Outside the City walls, too, Gabriel 
Sangar and Dr. Manton still minister in their old parishes in the aristo- 
cratic quarter bordering on Charing Cross and Westminster ; the former 
in the Strand (he had been ejected from St. Martin's-in-the-Fields) ; the 
latter in his own house in the piazza of Covent Garden, in the shadow 
of his old parish church, St. Paul's. Mr. Greenhill still preached in his 

* S. P. Dom. Car. II. 129, 63. 

f He was then nearly 77 ; for he was baptized December 22, 1592. 

Detailed and Expository 

house close to Stepney Parish Church (whence he and his assistant 
lecturer, Mr. Mead, had been ejected) ; and both he and Mr. Mead 
were holding a Conventicle in Meeting House Alley in Wapping, 'the 
'old House' being reported as 'made as big again as in Cromwell's 
'time'; while close by in Redmayd Lane (Wapping), Mr. Kentish, 
who had (like Zachary Crofton) been compelled to leave the Tower 
Church (St. Catharine's), was preaching 'at a New Brick House with 
' Pulpit and Seates.' 

But most of the London ministers had migrated, either north to 
Smithfield and Moorfields Dr. Owen was preaching in White's Alley 
there, and Mr. Needier (of St. Margaret Moses, Friday Street), was 
preaching in Finsbury Field or east to Bishopsgate and Spittlefields. 
Thus Thomas Vincent had moved from Milk Street to Hand Alley, in 
Bishopsgate (where he preached ' in a Spacious Roome built with 
'Galleries'), and Dr. Samuel Annesley had left St. Giles's, Cripplegate 
(his old parish), for Spittlefields, where, he was preaching at 'a New 
' House built for the purpose with a Pulpitt & Seates.' 

But the rest of those reported by Humphrey Henchman are refugees 
from the provinces (and one, Mr. Grimes, all the way from Ireland, 
and two Scotchmen). 

Not only in the number of Nonconformist ejected ministers who 
are reported, however, is the Bishop's Report miserably defective and 
inadequate. In many cases the Sects are not distinguished. The 
columns for Abettors, Principals, etc. (which properly filled up would 
have been replete with interesting information), is left consistently a 
blank. But the numbers attending the Conventicles reported are 
admitted to be very large all of them are counted by hundreds. 

His notes at the close of his Return for the City, too, are strangely 
frank in their admissions. He does not appear to consider its incomplete- 
ness involves any reflection upon himself. He says (R. 220/>) : 'Others 
' there are of less note, too long to Enumerate, And many not yet dis- 
' covered doubtlesse : And the more of late, Because they having re- 
' ceived some disturbance in the Countries ' (*.&, ' Counties,' or, as we 
should say, 'the Provinces'), 'have made flight to London.' The 
Bishop evidently does not think much of the strength of religious con- 
viction behind this Nonconformity, for he says (R. 221) : ' Many of 
' these Meeting People, especially Presbyterians & Independents, did till 
' of late frequent the Church ; And will easily be reconciled again, if 
' they see the Government resolute.' 

(2) The skeleton report from Essex is remarkable for three things : 

(i.) All the ' Preachers or Teachers ' reported with the exception 
of three (viz., Messrs. Billaway, Stockdale, and Done) are ejected 
ministers. [N.B. Mr. Robert Billio, ejected from Wickham St. Paul, 
appears under two curious variants : ' Billoe ' and ' Billowes,' and I have 
a strong suspicion that ' Billaway ' is a third.] 

(ii.) Two of the eighteen Conventicles reported viz., those at 
Coggeshall and Colchester, under the heading of ' Numbers and Quality' 
are honoured with the comment, 'hard to be suppressed,' which 
shows the prophetic discrimination of the reporter, for they have not 
been suppressed yet. The Congregational Churches in Coggeshall and 

Episcopal Returns 

Colchester are still ' going strong,' and are amongst the sturdiest and 
most influential in the county. 

(iii.) The note (R. 222) on the Conventicle at Dedham touching 
the service held there in connection with the funeral of their late pastor, 
Matthew Newcomen, M.A., is of special interest as confirming Palmer's 
note (Cal. ii. 196) about Mr. Fairfax's sermon on the occasion. 

(3) The incomplete report from Middlesex is nevertheless very 
interesting as far as it goes. 

(i.) Of the seven little Conventicles reported in Uxbridge, two are 
notable, as served by ejected ministers : (a] That at Hillingdon about 
a mile from the town then by 'one Butler,' who was doubtless Hugh 
Butler, who had been ejected from Beaconsfield, in Bucks (the next 
town to Uxbridge on the high road from London to High Wycombe), 
but who had on his ejectment retired to Amersham. (He is described in 
the Report as ' lately come from Amersham '), and (2) that at Uxbridge 
itself, frequented by the ' best in the Town,' and held at the house of 
Mr. Buscold, 'a Rich Tanner,' by Hezekiah Woodward, 'an old 
* intruding minister of Bray, near Windsor.' [It is of special interest to 
the Editor, as Hezekiah Woodward was turned out at the Restoration 
to make way for Dr. Edward Fulham (a lineal ancestor of the Editor's), 
to whom the living was presented by the Bishop (George Morley). 
(Anthony Wood's remarks about the state of dilapidation into which 
Woodward had allowed the manse to fall are very caustic.)] 

(ii.) The Report for Hackney is notable for its mention of a Lecture 
held here by a combination of eight of the ablest and most popular 
preachers of London, six of whom were Congregationalists a veritable 
galaxy of the 'bright particular stars' of that denomination. They 
were : Philip Nye, the; veteran Independent and anti-Royalist ; Dr. 
Thomas Goodwin, ex-President of Magdalen College, Oxford, and a 
great Congregational ist ; John Griffith, another Independent, who had 
been minister at the Charterhouse, and Lecturer at St. Bartholomew, 
near the Exchange ; Thomas Brooks, of St. Margaret's, Fish Street, also 
of the Congregational way ; Dr. Owen, one of the ablest pioneers of 
Congregationalism as the Polity of the New Testament, and late Vice- 
Chancellor of Oxford ; Thomas Watson, who had been ejected from 
St. Stephen's, Walbrook, Presbyterian. And, besides these, Peter Sterry, 
an able mystic ; and Dr. William Bates, the silver-tongued preacher 
of St. Dunstan's-in-the-West (Fleet Street), a decided Presbyterian. 

(4) The Report from Hertfordshire, omitting Hertford, the county 
town (of which we have seen there was a separate account, quite unique 
in its character, sent in by the Bishop of Lincoln), centres in the abbey 
town of St. Albans, ' where it returns four Conventicles (the Presby- 
terian of 100 attendants, by far the largest), served by three ejected 
ministers. This is the only instance in which the Presbyterians are 
mentioned, although the other six were without doubt of that denomina- 
tion, which were served by ejected Nonconformists, viz., Watford, 
Idlestree (or Elstree), Codicote, Ridge, Chipping Barnet, and Theobalds 
(near Waltham Abbey). One of the three who preached at St. Albans 
was Dr. Staunton (Stanton), who had been ejected from Boveden, 
whom we have before met as one of the distinguished ministers who 

92 Detailed and Expository 

enjoyed the hospitality of Mrs. Fleetwood at Chalfont St. Giles. He 
also preached at Watford, Codicote, and Ridge. 

The other two were : Mr. Jenkins, ejected from Abbot's Langley ; 
and Isaac Loeffs (called also Leaver and Leaves), who had been ejected 
from Shenley. 

The Baptists are reported as having three Conventicles : one at 
St. Albans, one at Redbourne, and a third at Watford ; and the Quakers, 
as having four (St. Albans, Redbourne, Shephall, and Norton). John 
Crooke is reported as speaker at two of them, the J.P. whom we have 
met before (in Cambridge and Bedford).* 

The meagre reference to 'Theobalds brings us into touch with 
London, for both Thomas Wadsworth and Robert Bragge were London 
men ; the former having been ejected from St. Lawrence Pountney, 
and the latter from All Hallowes the Great, in Thames Street. 

The one place in Bucks reported as in the London Diocese is 

1 1. NORWICH. Edward Reynolds was Bishop, having been elevated 
to the See in 1661. He had been an avowed Presbyterian in the 
Commonwealth times, and took the See when offered it, on the distinct 
understanding that great latitude should be given to Nonconformists. 
Still, when those conditions were not kept, but, on the contrary, the 
policy of pitiless persecution was adopted, he did not resign his bishopric, 
and worked in the interest of the policy he had protested against by 
sending in a full account of the Conventicles held in about half the area 
of his Diocese : the eastern half of Norfolk, and the western half of 

(i) In Norfolk, Emneth and King's Lynn, on the north-west 
limits of the county, were the only exceptions to the above description 
of the area covered by Reynolds's Report. It covers about six pages, 
and (quite properly) begins with Norwich, the Cathedral City. 

The denominations in the county are very unequally represented in 
his Report. The Independents are by far the strongest, for twenty 
Conventicles are credited to them. The Quakers, too, are strong, for 
they have twelve. But he mentions only four Presbyterians, and three 
of these are associated with the Independents. Further, he mentions 
only two Baptists ; and one of these is a mixed meeting of Baptists and 
Independents. The numbers in many cases are not large, ranging 
between 20 and 50; but in 10 instances they amount to 'hundreds,' 
the largest number being of Independents, (i) At Besthorpe and 
Ban well there is one of < from 500 to 800'; (2) in Yarmouth, one of 
about 400 ; while (3) in Norwich, they have 3 Conventicles of 200 or 
300. The Quakers' Meeting at Wymundshoe varies in numbers 
between 200 and 500. 

From his connection with the Presbyterians, Reynolds well knew 
the high character and culture of many of the Puritans, yet he reports 
the Quality of most of the Conventiclers as ' inconsiderable persons,' or 
as c most women,' conceding in the case of Besthorpe and Bunwell 
alone, that * some were Gentry,' though he must add, ' and some poore 
* people.' Except in the north, where the speakers named are all trades- 

* See p. 81 . f. 

Episcopal Returns 93 

men, and these * of an inferior condition,' the * Heads and Teachers ' 
are generally ejected Nonconformist ministers, who, be it noted (as 
proof of their earnestness and spirit), far more than in other parts of 
England, despite the penal statutes, seemed to have remained in their 
own parishes, to minister to their devoted flocks. 

(2) The Report from Suffolk is distinctly disappointing. In the 
north-eastern corner of the county, Nonconformity, as we know, was 
peculiarly strong, for only three years later more than five-and-thirty 
different places were licensed in this area. Yet it is wholly ignored in 
Reynolds's Report, albeit Conventicles are reported, not nearly in the 
number or strength that the facts warranted, as distributed evenly over 
the rest of the county. Yet the Bishop's informants seemed to be 
utterly ignorant of detail, except at Rattlesden, Wattesfield, Bury 
St. Edmund's, and Ipswich. 

12. SARUM. Here the Bishop was that energetic ecclesiastic, Seth 
Ward, who had in 1665 sent in such a remarkably complete return of 
the Nonconformists in the Diocese of Exeter, and who had migrated to 
Sarum, in that year of Episcopal changes, 1667. He had been in his new 
Diocese therefore only two years, yet his Reports for Wilts (the 
Cathedral County), with Berks north-east of it, and Dorset south-west of 
it, and a fragment of Devon, are as complete as had been his Returns 
for Devon and Cornwall in 1665. He finds out the position (social 
and political) alike of the householders who owned the meeting-places 
and of the ' Teachers ' who spoke at them, so that we have a fund of 
information in this score of pages and more, so valuable and so illumi- 
nating, that from the historical standpoint we cannot but wish that his 
brother Bishops throughout the country had been as zealous and careful 
as Seth Ward. 

His Report covers over twenty-three pages, fourteen of which are 
occupied with Wilts, under the three headings of: (i) The Arch- 
deaconry of Wilts ; (2) the Archdeaconry of Sarum ; and (3) the 
Peculiars of Sarum in the County of Wilts. Nearly seven pages con- 
cern Berks, and the rest touch the western half of Dorset and part of 
the north-eastern border of Devon. 

(i) As regards the Sects, though in many cases he can apparently 
furnish no information, in seventy-eight instances the denomination is 
given. Thirty-two of them are Quaker meetings, the Baptists and 
Presbyterians have 20 each, the Independents 3, the Fanatiques 2, and 
the Fifth Monarchists I. [It is a question whether in Seth Ward's 
vocabulary * Fanatickes ' is not an alias of Independents, giving them 
five Conventicles.*] 

The Quaker 32 is made up of 17 in Wilts and 15 in Berks ; the 
Baptist 20, of 13 in Wilts and 7 in Berks ; and the 20 Presbyterian, of 
12 in Wilts, 5 in Berks, and 3 in Dorset. The Independent 5 is made 
up of 4 in Wilts and i in Berks, and the single Fifth Monarchist 
Conventicle is in Wilts. His bias against the Quakers is sufficiently 
evident, for though it may not be the Bishop who is the author of these 
expressions (but the local clergyman), the Bishop endorses them by 
inserting them in his Report, where he is guilty of the brutality of 

* Or were they the ' Ranters/ a sort of Pantheists ? 

94 Detailed and Expository 

calling two Quaker ladie swho had been probably married in Quaker 
meetings, according to the recognized Quaker forms 'the Company 
' Keeper or pretended wife ' of their devoted husbands (R. 241) ; and of 
saying of Adam Laurence, of West Chaloe, that ' he keepes a woman 
* as his wife whom he was never married.' 

The facts about East Knoyle need sifting. Calamy has as the 
clergyman ejected from that living Samuel Clifford (III., 365) ; but 
Seth Ward, under that local heading (R. 242) calls Mr. Gray, the 
' late Rector there, ejected Nonconformist,' but it is significant that on 
the very next page (R. 243) both Mr. Clifford and Mr. Gray are 
reported together with Mr. (Compton) South, Mr. (Peter) Ince, and 
Mr. (Joshua) Churchill as preaching at a Conventicle of 100 or 200 
at Donhead St. Andrews. 

(2) As to Numbers. The Conventicles which in all three counties 
have the largest numbers attending them are undoubtedly the 
Presbyterians : 

In Wilts, ten are reported as of over 100 ; and of these three were 
over 200, four over 300, one of over 400, and one is of 600 or 700. 

In Berks, there were five over 100, equally distributed as to 

In Dorset, though so few Conventicles are reported and concerned, 
one is over 200, two are over 300, and one over 400. 

The Quakers, too, have considerable gatherings. In Wilts they 
had three over 100, one over 200, and one over 400. 

In Berks, they had five over 100, and one over 200 ; while in 
Dorset, four had over 100. 

The Baptists, also, had one of over 200, and one of over 300, both 
in Wilts. 

The Bishop's candour is proved, as well as the fulness of his informa- 
tion, by his admission that in several places where no Conventicle is 
reported they had * frequenters ' living there /.*., inhabitants who were 
Nonconformists both in principle and practice, who travelled into other 
parishes to 'frequent' the Conventicles held in them. Such were 
Hindon, Berwick St. John's, Odstock, Bulford, and Boyton. 

The information given as to the chief supporters of many Con- 
venticles (in the column headed 'Quality and Abettors'), is very inter- 
esting, and applies almost equally to all the different counties. It 
should be of great use to historians of local Nonconformity. 

The case of Dr. John Pordage is singular, and would repay fuller 
investigation. The Bishop refers to him in connection with a Con- 
venticle at Reading (R. 240), at which he is the one teacher. It is in 
the contemptuous phrase, ' one Pordage,' implying that he is too insig- 
nificant a person for a Bishop to know anything about, yet he is 
unquestionably the same person who is reported under the title of 
<D r John Pordage' with Mr. Bromley, 'as suspected to be Conventicle - 
' holders and Teachers also' at Bradfield (R. 240). Calamy knows 
nothing of him, except that in his literary note on Christopher Fowler, 
ejected from Reading (L, 294-95), he gives among his works 'Daemonium 
' Meridianum ': a Relation of the Proceedings of the Commissioners of 
Berks against John Pordage, late Rector of Bradfield. But Neal 

Episcopal Returns 95 

('Puritans,' II., 631), notes him as ejected from this living at Bradfield, 
not by the Royalist Episcopalians after the Restoration, but by Oliver's 
Commissioners in 1656 not for scandalous living, nor for inefficiency, 
but for heresy, ' denying the Deity of Christ and the merits of His 
4 precious blood, and several suchlike opinions.' The fact is that (like 
Peter Sterry at Hackney, near London) he was rather mystical in his 
views, using phraseology which puzzled and displeased the good 
Calvinist Puritans who examined him. But in 1661 he was reinstated 
by the Episcopalian authorities, his successor appointed by Parliament 
being ejected to make his restoration possible. This was the <M r John 
' Smith ' whom Calamy notices as ejected from Bradfield (Berks). We 
must suppose, therefore, that in 1662, though the Doctor was a good 
Royalist and Episcopalian, he found himself doctrinally unable to take 
the oath required by the Act of Uniformity, declaring his unfeigned 
assent and consent to everything contained in the Book of Common 
Prayer. So that formally Calamy ought to have included him in his 
list of sufferers on Bartholomew's Day. Dr. Walker, too, ought to 
have included him in his list of the clergy who suffered at the hands of 
Oliver and the Parliament. But the curious fate befalls him of being 
ignored by both ; by Calamy, because Pordage's predecessor was a good 
Puritan who was ejected to make room for him ; and by Dr. Walker, 
because Pordao;e could not remain in the church after Bartholomew's 

The last column of Seth Ward's Report is as full of interest as any 
of the rest. The names of several Nonconformist ejected ministers 
appear in connection with so many different places, that it would be quite 
possible to construct a history of their itinerating circuits in these 
counties. It would be almost amusing, were it not so exasperating, to 
find him using the contemptuous formula, ' one So-and-So,' of men who 
before Black Bartholomew had been distinguished ornaments of the 
Established Church. 

'One Bachel 1 " of Hampshire,' preaching at East Ilsley, is clearly the 
same as the * M r Rich. Bachiler ' reported on the same page as preaching 
at Newbury the Richard Batchelaur who had been ejected from 
Camely, in Somerset, and had retired to his own estates in Ashmans- 
worth and East Woodhay, in the north-western corner of Hants. It is 
a strong testimony to the deep impression made by his ministry there, 
that the Bishop of Bath and Wells reports a Conventicle as meeting in 
the parish church. Lower down the same page (R. 239/>), * one Dent 
* of Ramsbury, a Pention Scholemaster ' preaching at Lambourne, should 
hardly have been so ignored, seeing he is doubtless c M r Henry Dent,' 
who had been ejected from the Ramsbury living. 

4 One Stubs,' again, reported as preaching at Reading, ' his dwelling 
4 not knowne,' the Bishop must have known as the minister ejected 
from Longhope, Gloucester, who had retired to Bristol (Cal. II. 239- 
244), and whom he reports elsewhere as ' M r Stubbs of Bristoll,' and as 
preaching at Leigh by Garsdon and Grittleton (R. 237/>), at Shereston 
and Charlton (R. 238), and at Hornington (R. 244). So, surely, it was 
a wilful ignorance which describes another of the refugees at Bristol, 
who had been ejected from Buckland Newton, in Dorset (Cal. II. 120), 

96 Detailed and Expository 

as ' Weekes of Bristoll'; and Thomas Rutty, who had been ejected from 
Milton, Wilts (Cal. III. 368), and had retired to Scene, or Seende, in 
Melksham as ' M r Thomas Rutty of Sene,' preaching at Calne (R. 239 
and R. 249) ; and reports John Frayling, who had been ejected from 
Compton, Wilts, as one of the preachers at the Independent Conventicle 
at Devizes, under the guise of 'John Frawling of Hedington,' because 
he was a native of Hedington, and possibly had retired thither after 
his ejectment. 

In one case Seth Ward slips into an error, not very excusable. In 
reporting the Presbyterian Conventicle at Turner's Puddle, he gives the 
teacher as ' M r Westley, ejected from Preston ' (R. 247). Now, so far 
from being ejected from Preston, Calamy shows (II., 164-175) that he 
was ejected from Winterbourn Whitchurch (' M r Wesley of Whit- 
* church ' he is called in his official examination). He withdrew to 
Melcomb, but was not allowed to settle there, and at last, by the kind- 
ness of a friend, settled in Preston. (For a time he was driven from 
Preston, too, by the operation of the Oxford Act in 1665, but must 
have returned thither in 1669.) 

13. WINTON. This Diocese included the Counties of Hants and 
Surrey ; and George Morley was Bishop. He had been translated 
hither from Worcester in 1662, and remained at Winchester till his 
death in 1687. He was devoted to the House of Stuart, having 
attended Charles I. in his last incarceration in the Isle of Wight, and 
attached himself to the pseudo-court of young Charles II. in Paris (vide 
Evelyn's Diary in loc.\ and he was correspondingly bitter to all anti- 
Royalists, and anti-Episcopalians. We need not be surprised, therefore, 
to find that animus appear in parts of this Report. 

(i) The Returns for Hampshire cover seven pages. 

(i.) The names of the Householders who harboured Conventicles 
are given (except in the Andover Deanery). Those at Ellingham and 
Hursley are of exceptional interest, and naturally illustrate the remark 
just made, (i) At Ellingham, the meeting-place was Moyles Court, 
x the house of Mrs. Lisle,' who, sixteen years later, was the first victim of 
Judge Jeffreys, on his Bloody Assize, and is here described, with 
partizan cruelty, ' the Regicide's wife.' (2) At Hursley, the meeting- 
place is the house of Mrs. Dorothy Cromwell, * wife to Richard 
c Cromwell, the late Usurper.' 

(ii.) Of the Sects reported, the Presbyterians and Quakers were the 
most numerous. The Presbyterians had 15 Conventicles, and the 
Quakers 1 3 ; to only 5 of Anabaptists and 3 of Independents. 

At Milford and Hordle reference is made to a Sect called ' Free- 
4 willers ' : a unique reference. 

(iii.) The numbers reported, as a rule, were under 100 ; but the 
Presbyterians, in five places, were more numerous. At Moyles Court, 
they were 200 ; at Fordingbridge, they were more (sometimes above 
300) ; at Gosport they numbered ' some hundreds.' At Crundall, they 
were 'very numerous' ; and at Andover there were 'some 200.' 

(iv.) The information given in the ' Quality ' column is of great 
interest ; the social position of many individuals being furnished at 
Basingstoke, Kingscleare, etc. At Baghurst, it is conceded that some 

Episcopal Returns 97 

of the Quakers have considerable Estates. At Crundall, the principal 
supporters of the Presbyterian Conventicle are ' of good Estates & 

* Quality.' The Presbyterian Conventicle at Gosport is made up of 
' Tradesmen in Portsmouth,' and ' seamen & workmen in His Majesty's 

* Dockyard,' a very interesting proof that the Monarchy was glad to 
retain some of Oliver's grand men in the Navy, and the Naval Dock- 
yards. (Pepys was quite frank in his acknowledgments of this.) 

(v.) With regard to 'Heads & Teachers': in all the important 
Presbyterian Conventicles they are ' ejected ministers ' ; in the Northern 
border of Hants, from the adjacent counties of Berks and Wilts, as well 
as from other parts of the county ; and in the South-Western Corner 
from Dorset. 

Among the Quakers, the Bishop reports some notable speakers: 
Solomon Eagles (or Eccles) of London, and Joseph Cole of Reading. 
The Bishop shows his political and prelatical animus most unequivo- 
cally, by the opprobrious epithets he uses in designating some of the 
ejected ministers. Samuel Tutchin (ejected from Odiham) is * a pestilent 

* Fellow.' James Terry (ejected from Micklemarsh),and Walter Marshall 
(from Hursley) are each ' a violent Nonconformist ' ; Isaac Chauncy, 
ejected from Woodborough, Wilts, was ' presented at the Assizes as a Sedi- 

* tious person ' ; and John Tucker, ejected from Horton, Dorset, and so an 
intruder into his Diocese, is ' a Vagabond.' The story he reports of 
Mr. Avery, intended to cover him with contempt, attests the lofty con- 
ception he has of the calling of God to a man as contrasted with the 
mere ordination of man. He has been (R. 263) preaching at Hursley, 
and the Bishop's words about him are as follows : * Mr. Avery, Mrs. 
' Cromwell's Chaplaine, being demanded by what authority he held that 
'unlawfull Assembly, Answered that he was Authorized thereto by 
'Jesus Christ' adding, as showing that his trust was in part at any 
rate in social influence 'That his Lady (Mrs. Dorothy Cromwell) 
' would beare them out in all their meetings.' 

One unique feature in this Report for Hampshire is the number of 
local or sectional answers given to this inquiry (the personal reply to 
which in the case of Mr. Avery I have just cited) as to the authority 
they adduce for meeting in these illegal Assemblies. 

(i.) In the Andover Deanery (R. 261) 'The Authority they pretend 
' is His Majesty's Connivence, and that they have some freinds that, if 
< occasion be, will interpose betweene them and the Punnishment of 
' the Lawes.' 

(ii.) At Basingstoke (R. 261 ) ' Some of them say they thought 

* they had the King's permission & toleration, because such meetings 
' are allowed in London and other Places.' 

(iii.) At Kingscleare (ibtd.)^ the owner of the meeting-place 
' declares the reason of his being soe zealous that way is, because the 
' King has a great kindness for the Presbyterian party.' 

(iv.) At Fordingbridge (R. 2634), < They say His Ma tie allowes of 
' their Meetings, or at least tolerates them.' 

(v.) At Ellingham (ibld.\ ' they plead His Majesty's Connivance 
<and Toleracon.' 

98 Detailed and Expository 

(vi.) At Milford (/7>/W.), 'The Authority they pretend is the 

(vii.) At Southampton (R. 264), 'They all pretend Conscience and 
* Toleracon, or at least Connivence from the King.' 

It should be noted that one of the very few answers given to the 
first Postscript inquiry of Sheldon is appended to this same report 
(R. 264) : ' The same persons frequent seVall Conventicles, which the 
' Quakers generally in all places doe.' 

14. SURREY. The Surrey Report occupies five pages. 

(i) The first section /.*., from the ' Southwarke ' Deanery is of 
special importance, because even in those days 'the Borough of South- 
c warke' was reckoned (with the Liberties of Westminster) as a part of 
London. This section, too, is more thorough and detailed than 
the others. 

(i.) The situation of the Conventicles is particularly described 
(containing some details of topographical value), as also the social 
position of the owners of the meeting-places. 

(ii.) The numbers reported as in attendance are all large generally 
over 100 ; Nathaniel Vincent's, in Farthing Alley, is attended by 500 
or 600 ; Wadsworth's and Chester's, in Globe Alley, by about 600 
(Presbyterians and Independents) ; and there is a great Conventicle of 
Baptists in Shad Thames of 1,000 ! 

(iii.) As to Quality, we see Morley's delight, when able to belittle 
their social position. The one in Fishmonger's Alley (of ' Presby- 
4 terians and Interpend ts ') is composed of ' Bakers meal men, and such- 
c like people,' and the Presbyterian Conventicle in Mountague Close is 
' Tradesmen for the most part '; but he is obliged to acknowledge of 
M r . Lye's meeting, in Morgan Lane, that it is 'of pretty good 
' Qualitie,' and that Nathaniel Vincent's has ' some people of good 
'fashion,' though he adds with an evident relish 'the rest servants 
' & streete walkers.' 

Southwark, we know from abundant evidence, was a stronghold of 
Puritanism, a natural consequence of the fact that their Clergy were 
so decided in their Puritanism that every one of them left the Church on 
Bartholomew's Day, 1662. Only one seems to have stayed, to be active 
in his ministry among his old people ; at least only one is reported 
among the ' Heads and Teachers ' viz., Mr. Beerman (or Bereman), 
who had been ejected from St. Thomas', Southwark, and he is 
described as ' a silkman.' Is this an illustration of the way in which 
some were forced into trades to maintain themselves (as Thomas 
Taylor from Cambs. was, to become a dealer in tobacco) ? [or was this a 
kinsman of the ejected Minister ?] 

If I am right in this identification it is only a parallel, in the way of 
unfairness, to the description of Stephen Ford, a clergyman of Oxford- 
shire. After ejectment from Chipping Norton, he had fled to London, 
and had taken up a ministry in these neglected parts. Morley alludes to 
him simply as ' a servant of Thankfull Owen,' as if he were another 
Onesimus, and had run away from his service to take up preaching : 
whereas the fact probably is that, being either domestic servant to 

Episcopal Returns 

Thankful Owen, or one of the College servants at St. John's College, 
Oxford, of which Thankful Owen was President in the Commonwealth 
days, his master thought so well of his gifts that he gave him help 
in his private studies, and got him placed in the sequestered vicarage. 

All the other Teachers reported were (like Stephen Ford) emigrant 
refugees in the ancient Borough. Mr. Carter, Mr. Thomas Lye and 
Mr. Wadsworth had come across London Bridge from the City ; 
Carter from St. Michael's, Crooked Lane; Thomas Lye, from All 
Hallows, Lombard Street ; and Wadsworth, from St. Lawrence, 
Pounteney. Mr. Anthony Palmer had come up from Gloucestershire 
(Bourton-on-the- Water) ; Mr. Nathaniel Vincent from Bucks (Langley 
Marsh) ; and William Carslake (e.g., one ' Castlake ') from Werrington 
on the Cornish borders of Devon. 

(2) For all the rest of Surrey we have only three pages. 

(i.) It is rather singular that three of the meeting-places were the 
private houses of ejected ministers. One in Godalming : John Platt's 
(Cal. ' Plot '), who had been ejected from West Horsley, North of 
Guildford ; and two in Dorking : one James Fisher's, from Fetcham ; 
and the other, John Wood's, from the adjoining county of Sussex, having 
been ejected from North Chapel. 

(ii.) The denominations, as here reported, are evenly distributed as 
between Presbyterians, Baptists, and Quakers. The Independents are 
separately credited with only one viz., at Dorking ; though I much 
incline to think that John Plot's, at Godalming, was Independent too. 

(iii.) The number of Conventicles reported is small, only 13 in all ; 
but more than half of them number hundreds in attendance ; the 
Presbyterian Conventicle at Dorking counting 300 ; the Quaker 
meeting, at Godalming, 4 or 500 ; and John Plot's, in the same place, 
7 or 800. 

(iv.) Of the Abettors reported : the Smallpieces, among the Quakers 
at Newdigate, were a respectable county family of yeomen ; and 
amongst the Presbyterians of the same village, one is reported as the 
widow of an ejected minister, whose name does not appear on (Palmer's) 
Calamy's lists viz., George Steere, ejected from Newdigate, for that is the 
most natural meaning to put upon the phrase 'late minister of Newdigate.'* 

(v.) Of the 1 6 teachers mentioned, 12 are ejected ministers, 5 of 
them belonging to Surrey. One of them, however, Mr. Batho, ejected 
from Ewell, is reported as from London, whither he had fled as a 
refugee ; and another, James Fisher, who had really been ejected from 
Fetcham, is reported simply as the owner of the house at Dorking 
where the Independent Conventicle was held. 

15. WORCESTER. The Bishop who sent in this report is Robert 

* The Steeres were a county family, Brayley and Britton (IV. 236) mentioning 
Lee Steere, Esq., of Jayes, Newdigate, as one of the three chief landholders ; and 
Rev. George Steere, M.A., is mentioned by the same county historians as appointed 
to the rectory 1609-10, holding it nearly fifty years, and founding a Parish School 
(IV. 292). Yet, as he was buried Jan. 13, 1662, it is more likely that he resigned in 
1660, than that he was ejected in 1662 ; seeing also that he gave way to one 
Bonwicke, who is given by Manning and Bray as rector for the year 1660. In 1647 
he was member of the Dorking Classis [A. G.] 


ioo Detailed and Expository 

Skinner, who had been translated hither in 1663 from the See of Oxford, 
where he had been Bishop before the Civil War, and who had been 
little interfered with by the Parliament during the whole of the period 
of the Commonwealth, having ordained many to the ministry in this 
period without interference from the Authorities, political and civil. 
His Diocese of Worcester consisted of the two adjoining Counties of 
Warwick and Worcester ; and his Report is fairly full, covering some 
seven pages. In it the counties are rather mixed, but Worcester 
receives the largest attention ; the Returns for it covering over four 
pages, and those for Warwick less than three. It is not deficient to the 
extent of meagreness, but it is not clear : its obscurity being largely the 
result of carelessness. 

In Worcester several Conventicles are assigned to one Sect. But of 
those which are described five are Baptists, four are Quakers, and there 
is one each of Independents, Presbyterians and Papists. 

In Warwick, three Quaker meetings are returned, two Baptist, one 
Independent, and one Presbyterian. A remarkable fact in these Returns 
is that of the 'Heads and Teachers' reported, only four are ejected 
ministers viz., Richard Fincher ejected from St. Nicholas, Worcester 
City; Richard Beeslow ('Baslow') from Bredon (Worcester); John 
Gyles (alias Giles) from Lindridge of the same county ; and Samuel 
Tickner ('Ticknen') from Alcester. True, Mr. Thomas Badland is 
reported as a Nonconformist* (along with Mr. R. Fincher) ; but he is 
not mentioned by Calamy, and all the other speakers are laymen with no 
University education. 

Another noticeable feature, common to it with Seth Ward's Return 
and others, is the statement about many parishes that, though no Con- 
venticle is held there, there are inhabitants in the Parish individuals (few 
or many) who are Nonconformists described by the Bishop as ' factious ' 
or ' seditious,' ' Sectaries,' ' Papists,' Anabaptists, Independents and 
Quakers. As to the Quality of the Conventiclers there are these ad- 
missions : that 

(1) at Worcester, there are 'some people of good sufficiency,' 
' Some of good Accompt.' 

(2) at Alusten (i.g., Alveston), some were 'y e chiefest persons, for 
' State, in the Towne ' ; and 

(3) at Brayles, of the Papists some were ' people of good Qualitie.' 
One historic touch should be noted. Under the return for Alveston 

(Alusten), (Worcester) there is this memo. : ' There went out of this 
' towne seven score & odde persons against the King to Worcester.' 

Another thing common to this with the Return for Sarum Diocese 
is that there are many references to the Original Returns from which 
this was compiled. Under Alveston, we have ' see the Returne itself 
' for the names of some of the Cheife Sectaries.' Under Kington, referring 
to the Anabaptists and Quakers we have, * see the names in y e Returne.' 
Under Birlingham Inhabitants, in reference to ' some factious persons ' 
we have 'see the Returne for their names,' as also with regard to 

* Calamy inserted Badland in his list ; though Palmer (iii. 245) excluded him, 
confusing Baldwin with Badland, foolishly thinking that he knew better. 

Episcopal Returns 101 

the Quakers of Brayles; while the formula used in connection with 
Kington, is repeated verbatim of Stratford-upon-Avon. 

So far, then, as to the Province of Canterbury. Though there are 
considerable differences in the Returns from the various Sees, there is 
more or less of uniformity and fulness in them. Far otherwise shall we 
find it in the case of the Northern Sees. 


The Dioceses in York Province were four York, Durham, Chester 
and Carlisle and Returns come from them all ; but the only Report 
which is full and detailed enough to be condensed in Tabular Form 
is the first. 

i. The Report for YORK DIOCESE was sent in by Archbishop Sterne, 
who had held the See and the Northern Primacy for five years from 
1664-5 when he was translated thither from Carlisle. 

He had been in his early years chaplain to Archbishop Laud, attend- 
ing him upon the Scaffold. So that we cannot expect anything very 
sympathetic about Nonconformists. 

The order of the Returns is rather inexplicable. The Diocese 
included the whole of the Counties of York and Nottingham. But 
Sterne first gives us a very fragmentary report for the sea-board of the 
East and North Ridings, then a fairly thorough one for the County of 
Nottingham, and then a much fuller report than was promised at the 
outset from the North Riding and the West Riding. 

For the sake of clearness, we take the Counties separately, and begin 
with York County. 

(i) York County. (i.) In the first fragment (R. 278-278^) 
6 Conventicles are reported : 3 of Quakers and 3 undesignated. The 
names of the Quaker householders doubtless could be traced. 

The non-Quaker Conventicle at Bridlington is of special interest 
since the ' Mr. Lucks ' at whose house it is held was the ejected minister 
of the Town : whose licences applied for and issued three years later 
are unusual and received special notice from the authorities ecclesiastical 
and civil. 

(ii.) The rest of the County is dealt with under the heading of 
' Deaneries of Pontefract and other Deaneries in Yorkshire ' (R. 


As in other cases, of course, so here, it is impossible to say whether 
the Returns fairly represent the relative strength of the denominations 
reported ; but the Quakers certainly bulk far more largely in the eyes of 
the Archbishop than all the other denominations put together. Out 
of 44 Conventicles reported, 24 are Quaker Meetings ; there are only 
7 each of Presbyterians and Independents, with 4 of Baptists, and 2 of 

The Archbishop has special animus against them too. He speaks of 
the Quakers of Balby, Doncaster, (R. 285) as c of y e inferior Gang ' ; 
and in connection with the Quaker Conventicle at Hilston (R. 284), 
field at the house of John Stor, who he is obliged to acknowledge, is 'an 


Detailed mid Expository 

4 able & rich person ' ; he shows his rancorous malice and vindictiveness 
by the terms he employs in reference to the marriages celebrated there : 
4 They do take one anoth r (as they call it) and so live in Fornicacion ' ; 
while of John Hall ofWhitby he can bring himself to write, * who liveth 
4 with a woman as in Wedlock & an excomunicate person ' ((R. 282). 

As a rule, the Conventicles are not large. Two in the North 
Riding viz., those at Coxwold and Kilbourn, are each of about 200 
or 300; and two at < Nott.' (an abbreviation for Nottingham)* go into 
hundreds; one of Presbyterians, of 400 or 500 ; and one of Independents, 
of 200. Several Quaker meetings, too, run up to and exceed 100 ; 
at Morley, they are ' very numerous ' (R. 285) ; at Malton (R. 285), 
and Rusticke (R. 283) they have meetings of 300 ; and the Archbishop 
reports ' one great assembly of Quakers on the moors near Sleights of 
i ,000 ' (R. 285). At Batley, too, he is obliged to report a Conventicle, 
to which 'as many come as to the Parish Church ' (R. 282). 

As to the * Heads & Teachers,' only two are spoken of frankly as 
Nonconformists viz., Henry Swift of Pennystone, and ' one Denton of 
' Bolton' ; but * Mr. Clayton of Rotheram,' and c Mr. Benson (or Benton) 
* of Thursco ' were the ministers ejected from those livings : and there 
are some 19 others, who are referred to simply as * Mr. X ' or * one X '; 
while one is referred to just by his personal name'; all of them without 
any hint that they were ever in the ranks of the clergy of his Diocese 
and Province. 

Thirteen are spoken of as c Mr. X' viz. (i) Luke Clayton, ejected 
from Rotherham ; (2) John Shaw from Hull ; (3) Thomas Burbeck 
( c Mr. Birbeck ') from Ackworth ; (4) Edward Prince from Sheffield ; 
(5) Richard Taylor from Longhope; (6) Matthew Bloom from 
Sheffield; (7) Rowland Hancock from Bradfield; (8) Thomas Hard- 
castle from Bramham ; (9) Robert Armitage from Holbeck (Leeds) ; 
(10) Peter Nay lor from Houghton Chapel, Lanes ; (IT) Joshua Kirby 
from Wakefield ; (12) William Hawdon from Broadsworth ; and 
(13) Richard Thorp from Horton. 

Five are alluded to even more contemptuously as ' one X ' viz. : 
(i) Henry Root ejected from Sowerby ; (2) John Ryther ( c one Ryder') 
from Ferriby ; (3) Christopher Nesse, from Leeds ; (4) Joseph Dawson, 
from Thornton ; (5) Oliver Hey wood, from Coley Chapel. 

The single instance in which he uses the personal name without 
prefix of any kind is ' Marke Trigot,' who is Mark Trickett ejected 
from Gate-Burton (Lincolnshire). 

H (2) Nottingham County. According to the Archbishop's Re- 
port, the Quakers appear to predominate in Notts, as they do in Yorks, 
though not so overwhelmingly. 

There are 9 Quaker Conventicles reported, to 7 Anabaptist, 5 Presby- 
terian, 3 Independent, i Fifth Monarchist, i Papist, I Jews, and I 
< Famylist.' 

The numbers attending them are generally under 100; but two 
Presbyterian Conventicles are reported, one as ot 100, and the other as 
* in great numbers,' and two at Notts of 400 ; the Baptists of Rempston 
* Is this Knottingley ? No ; it is doubtless ' Nottingham ' misplaced. 

Episcopal Returns 103 

have 200 in attendance, the Independents at Notts 200, and the In- 
dependents and Baptists (together) at Flintham have ' Considerable ' 
numbers, and the Quakers of Notts number 100. 

The Archbishop's description of the Quality of the Conventicles is 
generally * meane ' or * poor/ but the confession is made that at Burton 
Jovis (Joyce) they have 'some of the best sort,' and that the Presby- 
terians at Mansfield have ' the better quality than the rest ' ; while at 
Nottingham the Archdeacon reports ' the chiefe of these persons have 
* beene in actual armes ag 1 the King.' 

Again, as in Yorks, we find many ejected ministers referred to by 
name without the slightest hint that they had ever been ornaments of 
the Church of England only one Teacher is distinctly called a Non- 
conformist, and he is referred to simply as < Rose,' i.e. Thomas Rose, 
who had been ejected from Bluds worth, Notts ; but the most remarkable 
thing is that those at Nottingham are unnamed, though described as 
' such as are silenced for Nonconformity.' 

There are twelve of the noble army of ( sufferers ' for conscience, 
and only three of them came into Notts fromiother counties. These three 
strangers or refugees are : two from Derbyshire viz., Robert Seddon 
from Langley, and Robert Porter from Pentridge ; and one from 
Leicestershire viz., William Smyth (als Smith) from Packington. 

The other nine remained bravely in the county where they had 
exercised their ministry: (i) John Clark, ejected from Codgrave ; 
(2) John Leighton (< M r . Layton '), from Linley ; (3) Robert Smalley, 
from Greesley ; (4) John Whitlock, and (5) William Reynolds, from 
St. Mary's, Nottingham ; (6) John James, from Flintham ; (7) William 
Cross, from Beeston ; (8) Joseph Trueman (' John Trewman '), from 
Crumwell ; and (9) Samuel Coates (< Samuel Coles '), from West 

There is one extraordinary case of displacement in the report from 
this Diocese. At the top of R. 285, and therefore under the heading 
given on R. 2813 ' Deaneries of Pontefract and other Deaneries in 
' Yorkshire ' sandwiched between such undoubted Yorkshire places as 
Lissett and Doncaster, is one item * Nott.' with 7 Conventicles. 
After conjectures innumerable as to what town in Yorkshire could 
possibly be intended by this mystic c Nott.', each to be rejected as utterly 
improbable, the suggestion was made by Rev. T. G. Crippen that it is 
intended for < Nottingham.'' Its bare mention was sufficient to fix it at 
once in the Editor's mind as the true identification. There follows, of 
necessity, the curious problem why the report of a town so strong in 
Nonconformity should be relegated to such a misleading place in the 
Returns. What < animus ' and disingenuousness to omit all names from 
the column of Teachers simply noting ' Their Teach rs are such as are 
'silenced for Nonconformity,' when they included such distinguished 
preachers as John Whitlock and William Reynolds, the inseparable 
colleagues both ejected from St. Mary's, and John Barrett ejected from 
St. Peters ! 

2. THE DIOCESE OF DURHAM. Here John Cosin was Bishop. He 
was strong for Protestant Episcopacy though his compilation of a 

104 Detailed and Expository 

Book of Prayers for Private Devotion set the rumour going that he 
was secretly a Papist,* a suspicion that was confirmed by the perversion 
of his son to the Church of Rome. Still the fact that he disinherited 
him for it is sufficient proof of his Protestant orthodoxy. He fled to 
France on his deprivation by the Parliamentary Commissioners, and fre- 
quently officiated all through the Commonwealth period in Sir Richard 
Browne (the Ambassador's Chapel in Paris : and so became well known 
to John Evelyn, who befriended him financially. He seems to 
have been even more devoted to the Stuarts than to the Church ; forgot 
his old friends, was prepared to vote against Chancellor Clarendon, and 
seemed inclined to condone the infidelities of Charles II. His response 
to Archbishop Sheldon's inquiries was a very perfunctory one. All 
that he deigns to ascertain and to present in his Report of four 
and a half pages is 'the number of persons that continue to keep 
4 meeting at Conventicles of pretended Religious Worship contrary to 
4 Law,' adding in some few cases the names of the householders in whose 
house a Conventicle is kept. 

3. CHESTER. TheBishop here had come to the See only about twelve 
months when he sent in his Return. He was Dr. John Wilkins a man 
of great talents, a broad mind, and genial personality. By his mathe- 
matical and mechanical gifts he won the special admiration of John 
Evelyn ; and by his eloquence as a preacher that of Pepys. By origin and 
marriage he was closely allied to the Nonconformists ; as grandson of a 
great Puritan, Mr. Dod, and brother-in-law of Oliver Cromwell : (his wife 
being Cromwell's sister). During the Commonwealth he had accepted a 
moderate Presbyterianism,'but with the Restoration accepted the restored 
Episcopacy, and was made Dean of Ripon, being elevated to his See in 
1668. He thus became responsible for the Counties of Lancashire and 
Cheshire, as well as the Western half of the North Riding of Yorkshire, 
and fragments of Flint. For this wide area he sends in a Report, fairly 
comprehensive, of 14 pages, but containing no information either of the 
Householders who entertained the Conventicles, nor of the Speakers ^ 
much less does he give any particulars as to the numbers attending them, 
their Quality, or their chief supporters. He simply and solely gives 
the names of places where Conventicles were held, and the number of 
Conventicles held in them or of individual Sectaries resident in the various- 
places, in some few cases indicating the Sect to which they belonged. 

This is exceedingly disappointing, as we know, from other sources, 
how strong Nonconformity was (both Papist and Protestant) in many 
parts of this See, and completer Returns would have had the utmost 

4. CARLISLE. The Diocese includes the greater part of Cumber- 
land and the Northern half of Westmorland. The Report is carefully 
framed ; but only a fraction of what we might have had, covering but a 
single page. It is sent in by Edward Rainbow who had held the See 
for five years a devoted Royalist and a learned scholar. 

* Despite the fact that it was published in 1627 in pursuance of royal order, to 
meet the reproach that books of devotion were used only by Papists. Its full title 
was 'A Collection of Private Devotions, in the Practice of the Ancient Church,. 
* called the Houres of Prayer.' 

Episcopal Returns 105 

The five Teachers he reports were all ejected ministers : and the 
manner of his reference to the first two he names implies that fact, 
describing George Larkham as 'sometime minister at Cockermouth ' ; 
and saying of Nathaniel Burnand, whom he reports as Teacher of a 
Conventicle at Brampton, that he was c sometime minister there, but is 
* now a Farmer or Drover.' The other three he names without any 
hint as to their previous career : ' Simon Atkinson,' who was ejected 
from Lazonby in Cumberland (Cal. I. 389) ; * one Slee,' a contemptuous 
allusion to Anthony Sleigh who had had a University training, but was 
silenced by the Act of Uniformity and prevented entrance to the 
ministry ; and < one Nicholson,' another similarly situated George 
Nicholson who had been educated at Oxford under Theophilus Gale 
and destined for the ministry, but found it impossible to accept the 
conditions of the Act of Uniformity. 


From what precedes it will be seen that the numerable items con- 
tained in these Reports are Conventicles, the Owners of houses or 
buildings in which the Conventicles are held, the Teachers who 
minister to the Conventicles, and the Number of the worshippers who 
assemble in, or compose, the Conventicles. [These last I have called 
' Conventiclers.'] 

It is possible, that is, by careful examination of these Returns to 
count, in each county, the Conventicles reported, the Teachers who 
ministered to them, the houses or buildings in which the Conventicles 
are held, and the Conventiclers who are reported as frequenting them. 
This I have done, and have presented the figures for the several 
Denominations in each county. 

But before giving them or dealing with the inferences to be gathered 
from them, one or two observations need to be made. 

1. In the Episcopal Returns the sects or denominations are four, 
though in the Licence or Indulgence Documents they are only three. 
The Quakers attracted the attention of the Episcopalian authorities 
quite as much as Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and Baptists indeed 
some would infer from the figures given in the Returns that they received 
more than their fair share of that attention. 

2. As to the Teachers, the figures I present greatly exaggerate the 
number of individuals, because I reckon each teacher who ministers to a 
Conventicle as one, so that when the same teacher ministers to more 
Conventicles than one, it may be in different parts of the same county 
or even in different counties he is counted over and over \ again. 
Subsequent sifting of the Returns might show the number of such 
duplicates, triplicates, etc., and the number of individual ministers 
reported in each county might thus be more accurately ascertained. 

That process I have not yet had the heart to tackle ; but I have made 
a very rough deduction in the County totals. 

3. With regard to the number of Conventiclers, moreover, we are 
confronted with this serious difficulty which at first glance seems insur- 
mountable, and threatens to take away 'the relative significance of the 

106 Detailed and Expository 

figures which these Returns supply. In many cases the * Numbers ' 
column is a blank. We are told that a Conventicle is held ; but no 
attempt is made to report or estimate the numbers frequenting it. To 
meet the difficulty frankly, I have called the number x : and in giving 
the number of Conventiclers in a certain place or in a given county I 
have given the cardinal figures which are the totals of the numbers actually 
given plus ' so many *V as there were Conventicles the numbers attend- 
ing which were not given in the Return. That x unfortunately may 
represent a few units, or tens or scores or hundreds as the case may 
be. We may give x an * average ' value so as to reduce the whole to 
definite numbers. Yet even that is necessarily a very unreliable process ; 
though it may be added that the wider the area dealt with, the more 
likely is the result to be approximately true ; and when we deal with 
the whole of England and Wales we may indulge the fancy that we are 
not very wide of the mark. 

To gain some approximate idea of the numbers, I have gone through 
the following cumbersome and tedious process : 

I have taken a copy of my Classified Summary, and in the left-hand 
margin of every page in which occur any references to the Episcopal 
Returns (/.*., wherever an R is to be found) I have ruled three columns 
one for Teachers (headed ' T '), one for Houses or Householders (headed 
<H '), and one for Numbers of Conventiclers (headed * Nos.'), and in these 
columns have entered a ' i ' opposite each mention of a Teacher or 
Householder in columns ' T ' and ' H '; and in the column ' Nos.' the 
numbers of Conventiclers reported as attending any Conventicle 
returned, or an x if no number is given. All these particulars are given 
in the four denominational sections of each county ; and at the end of 
each denominational section I have cast up the totals in each column ; 
and finally, at the end of each county section, have tabulated these totals 
in a columnar scheme, giving the number of Teachers, Houses, and 
Conventiclers in each of the four Denominations ; and at foot, the total 
number of Teachers, Houses, and Conventicles of all four Denomina- 
tions in other words, of Nonconformists of all Sects in each county. 

These figures I have transferred from my Classified Summary to the 
Tables, presented in the following pages, with one important addition : 
I have added a fourth column, in which I have placed the numbers of 
Conventicles of each Denomination in each county (gathered by the 
process of counting the numbers given in the account of each Town 
or Parish). 

These Tables therefore give : (i) in the first group of four columns 
the numbers of Teachers (T), Houses (H), Conventicles (Cs.), and 
Conventiclers (Crs.*) in each of the four Denominations in each county; 
and (2) in the second group the total number of Teachers, Houses, Con- 
venticles, and Conventiclers in each of the counties. 

The counties are arranged in the six groups adopted in the Classified 
Summary; and the order of the counties in each group is the same 
geographical order as that adopted there. 

It is from this comprehensive scheme of Tables that all the other 
special Tables are drawn up. 

* This in place of the ' Nos ' of ray first, three-columned, tabulation. 

Episcopal Returns 








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'Detailed and Expository 

There are two ways in which we may review these tables, and sum- 
marise the statistical conclusions to be drawn from them. 

First, disregarding the division of Nonconformists into Sects, we may 
gather the relative strength of Nonconformity as a whole in the country 
generally and in the several counties ; and, second, we may gather 
the numerical strength of each of the four principal denominations in the 
country generally and in theseveral counties. First, then, we deal with 


In attempting the task, moreover, it will be well perhaps to begin 
our Review on the widest scale, as the uncertainty besetting the true 
value of x is thereby reduced to its minimum. 

I therefore herewith append (a) a c Summary' Table, giving the totals 
for the Groups of Counties with the grand totals thus gained for 
the whole of England, and for England and Wales : 







England : 







North Midlands 





7.436 + 500* 

South Midlands ... 






Eastern Counties... 






South-Eastern Counties ... 



203 + x 


21,760+ 114* 

South- Western Counties... 





18,834 + 45* 


84.3 + x 


67 6 co -4- IAAX 






3,225 + 14* 

Totals for England and Wales 




i, 2 34 

70,875 + 358* 


For the whole of England and Wales, then, the totals are as follows : 
Teachers 1,138, Conventicles 1,234, Houses 907 + *, and Conventiclers 
70,875 + 358*. As the figures range from 7, 15, 20, 35, 50, 70, 100, 
150, 200, 300, etc., an average of 90 might not be out of the way ; 
358* would represent another 32,220, which would raise the grand total 
of Conventiclers in the United Kingdom to over a hundred and three 
thousand (103,095) ; or, reckoning laxly for the eight counties not 
reported on at all, we should be safe in adding another sixteen or 
seventeen thousand. 

It would be a sober estimate if we were to say, then, that the Non- 
conformist Conventiclers in England and Wales were at least 1 20,000 
it may well have been between 122,000 and 123,000. Confining 
ourselves, however, to the counties for which we have returns, we find 
that for Wales the numbers are: 51 Teachers, 64 Houses, 56 Con- 
venticles, and 3,225 + 14* Conventiclers; while for England we have 
1,087 Teachers, 843 + * Houses, 1,178 Conventicles, and 67,650 + 344* 
Conventiclers. Of the six groups of counties into which we have divided 
England, the South-Eastern Group comes out as by far the strongest. 

Episcopal Returns 

Its Conventiclers are nearly twenty-two thousand (21,760), beside 114 
Conventicles of unknown number probably accounting for nearly half 
as many again, say ten thousand more, with a total of 257 Conventicles. 
The Eastern Counties come next in these respects, but far behind; 
giving but half the number of Conventiclers (10,381 + 75*) ; though in 
other particulars it is not so far behind, having 215 Conventicles, held 
in 145 Houses, and 225 Teachers to minister to them. Then comes 
the North Midland Group, with its 7,436 Conventiclers + 50* : say 
another four or five thousand, totalling 12,000, with 192 Conventicles, 
held in 86 Houses, with 150 Teachers to minister to them. 

Of course the high record of the North Midland Group would have 
been much higher had we a fair report from Lincoln county (for which 
we have no report at all). 

It is certainly noteworthy that the South Midland Group shows up 
so well, its three counties accounting for almost as many as the five of the 
Northern Group, though we have no returns for four out of its seven 
counties viz., from Hereford, Northants, Gloucester, and Oxford. 

(b] Fairly to estimate the value of these figures we need, however, to 
supplement this summary schedule by a more detailed one for each county, 
which is given on the following pages. The numbers for Warwick 
show its Nonconformist strength, and those for Bucks tell the same story. 
Warwick's figures (No. 17) for Conventiclers is 1,749 + 28*, together 
amounting to four thousand or more, while those of Bucks (No. 21) are 
i, 482 + 3 1*, probably representing an almost equal figure; the latter 
county having as many as 65 Conventicles in 63 Houses, with the 
relatively very large number of 74 Teachers ministering to them. 

Indeed, a closer study of the Schedule given below will reveal 
other equally striking comparisons. 

Somerset claims by far the largest number of Conventiclers, its defi- 
nitely reported 12,315 being almost a third as many again as London's 
9,960, the unnumbered Conventicles in each being nearly the same 
Somerset 18* and London 17* ; while in all the other three particulars 
the difference is more striking still, Somerset having 155 Conventicles 
in 134 Houses with 168 Teachers ministering to them, while London's 
numbers are but 53, 49, and 44 respectively. 









I. I. 




























Lancashire ... 









n6 Detailed and Expository 







Brought forward 





II. 7- 

Cheshire ... 
















i, 995+* 



1 1. 











1,640 + 7.* 


Leicester ... 




1,946 + 4* 







III. 15. 

Hereford ... 


1 6. 

Worcester ... 






Warwick ... 




1,749 + 28* 

1 8. 

Northants ... 










1,482 + 31* 




4,046 + 59* 

IV. 22. 







809 + 8* 

2 4 . 




4 2 

1,847 + 14* 






1,772 + 7* 






4,292 + 17* 





4 1 

1,661 + 10* 









10,381 +75* 

V. 29. 


S 2 



2,316 + 24* 


Middlesex ... 




500 + 9* 






9,860+ 17* 






1,367 + 31* 






2,251 +2* 




4 1 










203 +x 


21,760+ 114* 

VI. 36. 





3,841 +25* 


Somerset ... 


J 34 

J 55 

12,315 + 18* 





1 1 





1 1 

! 3 

1,553 + 2* 


Cornwall ... 




18,834 + 45* 

Total for England 




67,650 + 344* 

Episcopal Returns 








Brought forward 


8 43 +* 




VII. I. 



Denbigh ... 




Merioneth ... ... 




1 1 


165 +6x 


Cardigan ... 


Radnor ... 







1 1. 





605 + 5* 






M55 + 3* 




3,225 + 14* 

Total for England and Wales 



!> 2 34 

7o,875 + 35 8 * 

Looking at the four items of which we have counted the numbers, 
the various counties assume the following order : 

1. As to the number of Teachers reported. 

(1) Somerset is far ahead of all other counties with 168. [Though 
we have to remember that in this county the repetition of the same 
name is most frequent at different places, owing doubtless to the system 
of grouping both Ministers and Conventicles, so that the members of a 
group of Ministers would divide their services to a group of Conventicles 
by a more or less regular rotation.] 

The next to Somerset counts less than half. 

(2) Wilts with 75, and (3) Bucks with 74, take this second place. 
(4) Norfolk, (5) Yorks, and (6) Leicester form a third group, with 64, 
62, and 6 1 Teachers respectively. (7) Warwick and (8) Berks form 
a fourth pair, with 53 and 52 ; and (9) London is the last which calls 
for special mention with 44. 

The low position of London on the list shows how imperfect, how 
defective, the Bishop's Return is. We know how many of the ejected 
from country livings had fled to London ; and how large a number of 
the London clergy had been compelled by conscience to leave their 
churches, as well as the great number of Conventiclers which were 
gathering more or less openly in London and the suburbs. Yet 
Humfrey Henchman can report only 53 Conventicles and 44 Teachers 
as ministering to them ! 

2. Number of Houses reported in which Conventicles were held : 
The same counties figure in the ' honours ' list in this particular as 

figured in the last, save that Sussex takes the place of Leicester, and the 
rest somewhat change their order. 


Detailed and Expository 

(i) Somerset again takes the lead with 164. (2) Wilts and (3) Bucks 
again take the second place, only Bucks leads Wilts by 3 ; Wilts 
having 64, and Bucks 61. (4) Norfolk and (5) Warwick form the next 
pair, with 56 and 54 respectively. (6) Berks and (7) London tie with 
49 Houses each, though Yorks joins them as a group, with 48 ; and 
(8) Sussex comes in for special mention with 41. 

3. In the number of Conventic'es, there is not quite such a distance 
between Somerset and the rest of the counties. But still : 

(i) Somerset is far ahead of them all with 155. In this list 

(2) Yorkshire comes second with 

Then there is a gap ; and 

(3) Bucks and (4) Wilts come together (to take the third place this 
time), with 64 and 60 respectively. (5) London and (6) Norfolk 
* tie ' in the next place with 53 each. (7) Leicester and (8) Sussex * tie' 
with near the same number, 50 ; and (9) Kent and (10) Warwick are 
the last pair which call for special mention, with 48 and 47 respec- 
tively, though perhaps we ought to add: (n) Cambridgeshire and (12) 
Sussex with 42 and 41. 

4. With the number of Conventiclers I have dealt in part already : 

(i.) In numbers definitely given, the list stands thus : 

(i) Somerset, with 12,315. (2) London, with 9,960. (3) Norfolk, 
with 4,292. (4) Wilts, with 3,841. (5) Yorks, with 3,340. (6) Hants, 
with 3,086. 

(ii.) In the matter of Conventicles whose numbers are not estimated 
or reported, the counties stand thus : 

(i) Cheshire, with 38.* (2) Bucks, with 31 ; and (3) Kent, with the 
same. (4) Warwick, with 28. (5) Wilts, with 25. (6) Berks, with 24. 
(7) Sussex, with 19. (8) Somerset, with 18 ; and (9) London, with 17. 

(iii.) If we reckon 90 for a fair average value of *, in the 23 coun- 
ties involved the first 1 2 would stand in the following order : 

Somerset and London would easily head the list. 

(i) Somerset, with nearly 14,000 Conventiclers (13,935). (2) 
London, with 1 1,490 (which is a long, long way below the true number 
of its Conventiclers). (3) Wilts comes next with 6,091, little more 
than half. (4) Norfolk is very near to Wilts, with 5,822. (5) Berks 
follows, with 4,476. (6) Bucks and (7) Warwick are very near, with 
4,272 and 4,269. (8) K ent > (9) Hants, and (10) Sussex, come next,, 
with 4,167, 4,166, and 4,090 respectively, fn) Cheshire follows with 
3,640 ; and (12) Cambridge is twelfth with 3,107. 

(iv.) If, however, we gave x the value of 50 only, the order would 
be this : 

(i) Somerset is still easily ahead of all the others with 13,215 ; and 
(2) London second with 10,810. Then comes (3) Wilts, with less 
than half of London's numbers, 5,091. (4) Norfolk comes next with 
a great falling off 4,142. (6) Berks, with 3,416. (7) Sussex, with 
3,330. (8) Warwick, with 3,149 ; and (9) Bucks, with 3,032. 
(10) Cambridgeshire, on this scale, has 2,547. C 11 ) Surrey, 2,351. 
(12) Suffolk, 2,161. (13) Lincolnshire, 2,146. (14) Hertfordshire, 
2,122. (15) Cheshire, 2,120 ; and (16) Nottinghamshire, 2,045. 

* Yet in definite figures it reports only 220 ; so it is near the bottom of our 
numbered lists. 

Episcopal Returns 


One deep and abiding impression remains from this varied review. 
Somerset was evidently saturated with Puritanism. 

Of Dorset and Devon we < know nothing as we ought to know,' 
because for these counties the Episcopal Returns are lamentably 
defective. London, even on Humfrey Henchman's showing, which 
was largely qualified by timidity or indifference in this campaign 
against Nonconformity, is strong as compared with the rest of the 
country, even as it was strongly Parliamentarian in the Civil War. So 
is Yorkshire, while we see dimly how the Eastern Counties are still 
largely leavened with the spirit of Cromwell and his Ironsides. 


Passing now from the more general aspect of these Returns 
as giving their testimony as to the position of Nonconformity as a 
whole let us examine them with the object of estimating, if we can, 
the relative strength of the four great * Sects ' which divided the atten- 
tion of the officials of the Church of England : (i) The Presbyterians ; 
(2) the Congregationalists or Independents ; (3) the Baptists or Ana- 
baptists ; and (4) the Quakers. 

Let us take the same general course which we pursued with Non- 
conformity as a whole, beginning with the general results in each 
denomination, and proceeding in each to more or less of detail. 
[Remembering, of course, that in actual investigation we were com- 
pelled first to deal with the details presented in each local report, and 
work upwards from these to the more general conclusions.] 

On the four points with which these Returns deal numerically, the 
figures come out as follows for the whole of England and Wales, for 
the four great denominations : 





I. Presbyterians 




41,998+ I22.T 

II. Congregationalists' 





IH. Baptists ... 




6,708 + 75* 

IV. Quakers 





On the face of the above rabies, two things stand out indisputable : 

(i) the Presbyterians have the greatest numerical strength by far, as 

judged by any of the four standards afforded by the Returns : (2) the 

Quakers, considering the specially spiritual character of their worship, 

show a strength even more remarkable. 

(i) In number of Conventiclers the Congregationalists take the 
second place (though with only about a third the strength of the Presby- 
terians), but the Quakers are not far behind them. True, if we consider 
only the Conventicles of which the numbers are reported, the difference 
is considerable, for the Congregational Conventicles number over 
14,000 Conventiclers, and the Quakers not 11,000. When those 


Detailed and Expository 

Conventicles are included in our review, of which no numbers are 
reported, the difference is much reduced. 

(i.) If we give the average value of 90, the number of Conventiclers 
are : Presbyterians, 52,998, practically 53,000 ; Congregationalists, 
19,229; Baptists, 13,458; and Quakers, 19,641. And this puts the 
Quakers in the second place, with a little over 400 more than the 
Congregationalists, with the Baptists nearly 6,000 behind them. 

(ii.) If, however, we give x the average value of 50, the figures 
come out thus: Presbyterians, 48,098; Congregationalists, 16,947; 
the Baptists, 10,458 ; and the Quakers, 15,681. In this reckoning the 
Presbyterians, again, are first with their 48,000 odd ; the Congre- 
gationalists are second with nearly 17,000; the Quakers come third 
with less than 16,000 (15,681) ; and the Baptists last with about 10,500. 

On any reckoning, then, as viewed through the eyes of the Bishop's 
informants, the Presbyterians are by far the most powerful body of 
Nonconformists, and the Baptists are the weakest, while the second and 
third places are held doubtfully by the Congregationalists and Quakers. 

(2) In number of Conventicles, while the Presbyterians lead by a 
great majority, with exactly 500, the Quakers are distinctly second 
with 318 ; the Baptists are third with 278 ; and the Congregationalists 
are last with only 203. A singular position, which shows that the 
average numbers attending Baptist Conventicles were much smaller 
than those frequenting Congregational assemblies. 

(3) In the number of Houses in which Conventicles are held, we 
might expect to find that the same order prevails as in the number of 
Conventicles. But it is not so. While the Presbyterians have the 
premier place with 367 + x (say, 370), the Quakers have 205, which gives 
them, as before, the second place ; but it is now the Congregationalists 
who rank third with 181 houses, and the Baptists are last with 152. 

(4) When we come to the number of Teachers we must not be 
surprised to find the Quakers at the bottom of the list, as it was part of 
their ecclesiastical order to have no order of preachers, teachers, or 
priests. So that while the Presbyterians are reported to have about 
850 ministers (845), Congregationalists about 300 (299), scarcely more 
than a third of the Presbyterian number, and Baptists 224, the * speakers ' 
reported among the Quakers are only 165. 

Advancing one more step from the general to the particular, let us 
see how the several denominations are represented in the six groups of 
counties in England, and in the Welsh counties as a seventh group. 

I. THE PRESBYTERIANS. In Wales they scarcely appear at all : 
the Bishops report one Teacher, as preaching to one Conventicle in one 
house, and attended by an unknown number of Conventiclers. 

In England, without any room for question, the South-Western 
Counties are strongest in every particular (what we often call the < West 
'Countree') ; and the South-Eastern Group, with London at its heart 
and centre, comes next. The order of the other Groups varies with the 
particulars you consider. In numbers of Conventiclers the North- 
Midland comes third, and the South-Midland fourth; while in the 

Episcopal Returns 


number of Conventicles the North-Midland remains third, the Eastern 
Counties are fourth. In the number of Teachers, the North-Midland 
retains its place ; but (as in the number of Conventiclers) the South- 
Midland recovers the fourth place ; while in the number of Houses the 
North-Midland and the Eastern Counties are almost equal. In all 
particulars the Northern Group is last. 
I insert a schedule of the particulars : 






Group I. 









4,682 + 1 8* 





2,172 + 20* 



3i 53 




84 + * 


I2,l67 + 34* 



150 171 


All England ... 


366 + * 



WALES: Group VII. 




+ * 

England and Wales ... 




36>337 + 122* 

i. The probable number of Conventiclers again varies with the 
value assigned to x. 

(i.) If it be 90, the numbers are : 

(i) For the South- Western group 17,234, a distinct first. (2) For 
the South-Eastern 15,227. (3) The third place goes to the North- 
Midland with 6,302 [only a third (roughly) of No. r] . (4) The 
fourth position is taken by the South-Midland group with scarcely 
4,000 (3,972), (5) The fifth by the Eastern Counties with 3,590 ; 
and (6) the last place falls to the Northern Counties with a little over 
900 (912). 

(ii.) If it be 50, the numbers follow the same order : 

1. South- Western with 16,194. (2) South-Eastern with 13,867. 

(3) The North-Midland with 5,582. (4) The South-Midland with 
3,172. (5) The Eastern Counties with 2,660 ; and (6) the Northern 
Counties with 912. 

2. The number of Conventicles reverses the positions of the 
Eastern Counties, and the South-Midland : 

(i) South- Western leads with 171. (2) The South-Eastern is 
second with 101. (3) The North-Midland comes third with 82. 

(4) The Eastern Counties take a fourth place with 53. (5) The 
Northern Counties follow with 47 ; and the South-Midland come last 
with 45. 

3. In number of Houses : 

(i) The South- Western lead again with 150. (2) The South- 
Eastern follow with 84 + *. (3) The South-Midland comes third with 

122 Detailed and Expository 

48. (4) The North-Midland and (5) the Eastern Counties are 
almost a tie with 32 and 31 ; and as in every other particular (6) the 
Northern Counties come last with only 21 Houses reported. 

4. In number of Teachers reported, the order is that of number of 
Conventicles : 

(i) The South- Western have by far the greater number 389 
(though that figure by no means represent the number of separate 
individuals). (2) The South-Eastern comes second with 145 ; and the 
(3) North-Midland with 124. Then follow (4) the South-Midland 
with 80. (5) The Eastern Counties with 68 ; and, again, (6) the 
Northern Counties last with 38 Teachers (not a tenth of those of the 

II. CONGREGATIONALISTS. The distribution here is strikingly 
different from that of the Presbyterians. 

Wales, instead of being almost a ' negligible quantity,' as with the 
Presbyterians, takes a strong position among the County groups. 

The premier place is taken not by the ' West Countree,' but by 
the Eastern Counties, as becomes the home of Cromwell, the great 
Independent, and his godly * Ironsides.' 

In most respects, too, London and its South-Eastern contingent 
takes a good second ; but in some respects Wales surpasses that < Home 
Counties ' group, specially in Teachers and Houses ; and the South- 
western group, so distinctly losing its proud pre-eminence, has to take a 
lowlier place as fourth. The Northern group appears next, and gives 
the last place to the South-Midland. 

1. In number of Conventiclers the order is (i) the Eastern 
Counties with 4,468 + 23*. (2) The South-Eastern (London) group 
with 4,043+17*. Then comes (3) Wales with 2,785 + 7*. (4) The 
South- Western group with 1,149 + 2* ; and the two Northerly groups 
contest the lowest place: (5) the Northern Counties with 859 + *; 
and (6) the North-Midland with 752 + 5*. 

The differences become clearer when we assign probable values to *. 

(i.) If it be 90 the numbers are : 

(i) The Eastern Counties easily first with 6,538. (2) The South- 
Eastern group with 5,573. (3) Wales with 3,415. (4) The South- 
western, and (5) the North-Midland being comparatively near each 
other with 1,329 and 1,202. (6) The Northern Counties next with 
949 ; and the South-Midland ' easily ' last with 223. 

(ii.) The assignment of 50 as the average value of * does not alter 
that order : 

(i) The Eastern Counties then leads with 5,618. (2) The South- 
Eastern group comes second with 4,893. (3) Wales follows with 
3,135. (4) The South-Western group comes next with 1,249. (S) The 
North-Midland, with 1,002, runs it close with (6), the Northern 
Counties, with scarcely 100 less viz., 909 ; and the South-Midland is 
distinctly last, with 143. 

2. In the number of Congregational Conventicles : 

(i) The Eastern Counties stand first with 65 Groups V. and VII. 
are almost a tie (2) the South-Eastern being second with 43 ; and 
(3) Wales third with 42. In this respect, however, the Northern group 

Episcopal Returns 


reasserts herself, (4) reporting 20 Conventicles, to only 18 for (5) 
the North-Midland group ; (6) the South- Western group having 1 1 ; 
and (7) the South-Midland last again with only 4. 

3. Of Houses held by Congregationalists for Conventicles to meet in : 
(i) The Eastern Counties hold the first position with 60. (2) The 

second place is taken by Wales with 47. (3) The South-Eastern group 
is third with 33. (4) The South- Western have only 15. (5) The 
Northern Counties and (6) the North-Midland each have 12 ; and 
(7) the South-Midland group have only two houses reported in the whole. 

4. Teachers reach far higher numbers : 

(i) The Eastern Counties claim more than half of the number for 
the whole of England with 127. (2) Wales, again, comes second with 
55. (3) The South-Eastern group (with London) is close upon Wales 
with 50. (4) The South- Western Counties furnish 28. (5) The 
Northern Counties muster 20. (6) The North-Midland have 16 ; and 
(7) the South-Midland have, again, an unchallengeable place as last 
with only 3 Teachers. 

I append these figures in tabular form : 






Group I. 





> II 




75* + 5* 

, HI 




43 + 2* 

, iv 




4,468 + 2 3* 

, v 




4,043 + 17* 

, VI 




1,149 + 2* 

All England 




11,314 + 50* 

/WALES : Group VII. 



2,785 + 7* 

England and Wales ... 




14,099 + 57* 

III. BAPTISTS. The primacy, in this denomination, very clearly 
shifts to the South-Eastern group ; and the Eastern Counties take 
a second place in every particular but that of the number of Teachers 
at a great distance behind them. 

The South-Midland comes third, except in the matter of Teachers 
and Houses, in which particulars they head the whole list, decidedly 
surpassing the South-Eastern group. 

The North-Eastern are not far behind the South-Eastern ; Wales 
comes sixth ; the Northern Counties have hardly anything to show to 
give them a place, even at the bottom of the list. 

This remarkable disposition can be seen at a glance from the 
following Table (p. 124), 

i. In the numbers of Conventiclers reported, the South-Eastern 
Group takes the first place even apart from the large number of Con- 

124 Detailed and Expository 

venticles reported of which no estimate is given of the numbers attending 
them (London and Kent county, we shall see, account for the greater 
proportion of these). 






Group I. 



,, II. 




812 + 5* 





1,001 + i Sx 


51 - ? 







2,333 + 33* 

VI. ... 





All England 

221 ? 



6,448 + 76* 

WALES: Group V,II. ... 3 




England and Wales ... 224 ? 


2i 9 

6,708 + 76* 

The second place as clearly would go to the Eastern Counties, but 
that the number of 'uncounted' Conventicles in the South-Eastern 
group brings it very near and on the higher value of x gives it pre- 
eminence. A similar result takes place as to the relative positions of the 
North-Midland and the South- Western groups. 

Let us look at the actual figures : 

(i.) If x be taken as 90 the following are the results : 

(i) The South-Eastern group (including London and Kent) are far 
ahead of all other groups with 5,303. (2) The South-Midland group 
comes second with 2, 621; and (3) The Eastern Counties third with 2,569. 
(4) The South- Western comes fourth with 1,351. (5) The North- 
Midland fifth with 1,262. (6) Wales is sixth with 260 ; and (7) the 
Northern Counties with less than 100 (92). 

(ii.) If x be taken as 50 the order is slightly altered. 'As before, 
and in any case: (i) The South-Eastern group is first with nearly 
4,000 (3,983). (2) The Eastern Counties comesecond with 2,129 ; and 
(3) the South-Midland falls into the third place more than 200 
behind (1901). (4) The North-Midland and (5) the South-Western 
almost tie, with scarcely 30 between them : the former with 1,060, and 
the latter with 1,031. 'The last two places remain as before : (6) Wales, 
sixth with 260 ; and (7) the Northern Counties with 92. 

2. In the number of Conventicles reported, the order is as follows : 
(i) The South-Eastern, 60. (2) The South-Midland, 47. (3) The 
Eastern Counties, 40. (4) The North-Midland, 34. (5) The South- 
Western, 30. (6) The Northern Counties, with 5 ; and (7) Wales, 
with 3. 

3. In number of Houses, in which Conventicles were held. The 
order changes in a rather remarkable way. (i) The first place is taken 
by the South-Midland with 46 ; and (2) the South-Eastern group has 
to take the second place with 42. Then comes (3) the South-Western 

Episcopal Returns 


with 26. (4) The Eastern Counties are fourth with 20. (5) The 
Northern Counties come fifth with 15. (6) Wales is sixth with 3; and 
(7) the Northern Counties are last or nowhere with not a single 
house definitely reported though there must have been five at least, as 
there were five Conventicles unless they were all held on common 
land in the open air. 

4. When we come to the number of Teachers, again, there is still 
further change, (i) The South-Eastern group comes first with 52 ; 
but followed hard by (2) the Eastern Counties with 51. (3) The South - 
Midland group with 50 then comes third ; and (4) the North-Midland 
group fourth with 41. (5) The South- Western is fifth with 27 as 
before. (6) Wales is sixth with 3 ; and the Northern Counties last, 
absolutely teacher/ess, as far as the episcopal authorities know ; though, as 
a matter of fact, we may be quite sure that 5 Baptist Conventicles 
would not be, Quaker-like, ' silent ' meetings, but must have had some 
4 teachers ' to conduct their worship and speak to them < the Word.' 

IV. QUAKERS. As far as definite numbers are concerned, the 
Northern group would stand before all others, especially in the number 
of Conventicles reported viz., 82. Even at that high number the 
average of attendance comes out as over 40 ; but a huge Conventicle of 
1,000 such as that at Sleights, reduces it at once to less than 30. 

But in other respects, the Northern group falls far behind other 
groups, especially in the number of Teachers reported. 

There is such variation, however, that it would be better at once to 
give a tabular view of the numerical totals : 





Group I. 







21 ? 








1,190 + 22* 
830+ 19* 
3,217 + 31* 
2,l6o + 8* 

All England 
WALES: Group VII. 






I 3>55 I +97* 
1 80 + 6* 

England and Wales... 




13,731 + 103* 


From this it appears : 

I. In number of Conventiclers the Northern group falls to the third, 
if not to the fourth place, when we attempt to give some estimate of the 
4 uncounted ' Conventicles, in addition to those whose numbers are given. 

(i.) If we give * the value of 90 : (i) The South-Eastern group 
(including London) is first with 6,007. ( 2 ) The Eastern Counties come 
next with 4,354. (3) The North-Midland third with their fixed total 
of 3,330.; and (4) the Northern Counties fall into the fourth place with 

126 Detailed and Expository 


3,170. (5) The South-Western group comes fifth with 2,880. (6) The 
South-Midland is sixth with 2,540 ; and (7) Wales is last with 720. 

(ii.) If, however, we value x at 50, ' the old order changeth,' thus : 
(i) The South-Eastern group still takes the lead with 4,767. (2) The 
Eastern Counties take the second place with 3,674 ; and (3) the 
Northern Counties take one place higher in the list, as third with their 
3,330. (4) The South-Western group becomes fourth with 2,560. (5) 
The North-Midland is fifth with 2,290. (6) The South-Midland sixth 
with 1,780 ; and (7) as before Wales is last with less than 500 (480). 

2. Coming to the number of Conventicles : (i) The Northern group 
far outstrips all the others with 82. (2) The second place is taken by 
the North-Midland with 58 ; though it is almost equalled by (3) the 
Eastern Counties with 57. (4) The South-Eastern group comes fourth 
with 53. And then there is a great drop : (5) the South-Midland is 
fifth with only 31. (6) The South-Western is sixth with 27 ; and 
(7) Wales is last with only 10. 

3. In the number of Houses : (i) The South-Eastern leads very dis- 
tinctly with 44. (2) The second place falls to the Eastern Counties 
with 34. (3) The Northern come third with 33. (4) The South- 
Midland almost pairs it with 32. (5) The North-Midland is fifth 
with 27. (6) The South-Western is sixth with 22 ; and (7) Wales is 
last with only 13. 

4. In the number of Teachers reported, we are on very uncertain 
ground in this denomination which recognized no f order ' of teachers 
or preachers at all ; though in practice, there ever have been a certain 
number who have been recognized as endued by the Spirit with the 
teaching and hortatory gift, exercised by them as the Spirit prompts ; 
as well as ' travelling preachers, who were sent out, two and two, as 
' Evangelists of the Truth.' According to the names reported in these 
Returns, the Northern group falls, from the first to the last of the 
English groups only Wales reporting fewer than the Northern Counties. 

(i) The Eastern Counties stand first with 50. (2) The North- 
Midland second with 31. (3) The South-Eastern third with 29. 
(4) The South-Western next with 21. (5) The South-Midland comes 
sixth with 1 6. (6) The Northern group reports only 14 ; and 
(7) Wales is last again with but 4. 

Let this suffice as to the distribution of the four denominations in the 
seven county groups into which we have divided the United Kingdom 
of England and Wales. 


To many, however, the counties severally have each its special im- 
portance. Let us see how the several counties stand as regards the 
strength of each of these four great denominations. 

I. PRESBYTERIAN. Their respective positions will best appear from 
the following scheme : 

Episcopal Returns 










I. I. 

Northumberland ... 






Durham ... 






















II. 7- 

Cheshire ... 


20+ 12* 






1, 1 60 











13 ? 









1,150 + 3* 


Leicester ... 




1,222 + 3* 

I 4 . 


III. 15. 

Hereford ... 











2 5 

1,265 + 16* 



I 9- 









532 + 4* 

IV. 22. 


_ _ 

















350 + 3* 





520 + * 

2 7 . 


21 ? 



605 + * 





1 6* 

V. 29. 


2 7 ? 



1,660 + 5* 









33- ? 



5,610+ 10* 



7 - ? 

2 +* 


1 1 6 + 4* 












1,320 + 3* 





1 5 

2,000 + 4* 

VI. 36. 





2,490+ 10* 


Somerset ... 


I 12 


10,285 + 1 S X 











i,353 +* 


Cornwall ... 

All England ... 


366 + * 



128 Detailed and Expository 







Brought forward 


366 + x 




VII. I. 



Denbigh ... 








Cardigan ... 






Pembroke ... 



1 1. 


' I 







All Wales 





England and Wales 


367 + * 


36,337 + I22 * 

In this Review I shall specially mention only the counties which, in 
each of the four particulars already referred to, take a high place. For 
the figures of the others I refer the student to the scheme itself. 

i. The number of Presbyterian Conventiclers. 

As any estimate which does not include some account of the 
unnumbered Conventicles must be very fallacious, I give two lists as 
before according to the value assigned to x. 

(i) If we take x as 90. The notable results are as follows : 

(i) Somerset heads the list with 11,635. (2) London is second, 
but with only a little more than half 6,510. (3) Wilts follows 
at a long interval with 3,390. (4) Warwick comes next with 
2 >75- (5) Hants is fifth with 2,360. (6) Berks is sixth with 
2,1 10. (7) Then (with a gap of over 500) comes Sussex with 
1,590. (8) Leicester comes next with 1,492. (9) Surrey next 
with 1,461. (10) Devon is tenth with 1,443. (n) Essex is 
almost even with Devon, with 1,440; and (12) Stafford is very close 
to Essex, with 1,420. After Stafford there is a great gap of 260 ; and 
(13) Derby comes next with 1,160; and (14) Cheshire follows on 
with 1,100. 

The rest each under 1,000 arrange themselves in this order : 

(15) Notts, 900. 

(16) Bucks, 892. 

(17) Dorset, 766. 

(18) Middlesex, 720. 

(19) Suffolk, 695. 

(20) Herts, 620. 

(21) Norfolk, 6 10. 

(22) Yorks, 485. 

(23) Kent, 476. 

(24) Worcester, 375. 

(25) Salop, 230. 

(26) Durham, 227. 

(27) Beds, 1 80. 

(28) Northumber- 

land, 112. 

(29) Glamorgan, 90. 

(30) Cumberland, 88. 
(3-1) Cambridge, 35. 

Episcopal Returns 129 

(ii.) If we take x as 50 the list is as follows : 

(i) Somerset, as before, leads with 11,035. (2) London comes second 
with 6, no. (3) Wilts comes next with less than 3,000 (2,990). 
(4) Hants is fourth with 2,200. (5) Warwick is fifth with 2,065. 
(6) Berks is not far behind Warwick with 1,910. (7) Surrey and (8) 
Sussex follow near together with 1,475 and 1,461. (9) Devon is ninth 
with 1,403. (10) Leicester next with 1,372; and (u) Staffordshire 
follows with 1,300. (12) Derbyshire is the only other county to reach 
four figures, with her 1,160. 

Below a thousand are : 

(13) Notts, 900. (20) Norfolk, 500. (27) Northumber- 

(14) Essex, 800. (21) Yorks, 485. land, 112. 

(15) Dorset, 766. (22) Middlesex, 400. (28) Beds, 100. 

(16) Bucks, 732. (23) Worcester, 375. (29) Cumberland, 88. 

(17) Suffolk, 655. (24) Kent, 316. (30) Glamorgan, 50. 

(1 8) Cheshire, 620. (25) Salop, 230. (31) Cambridge, 35. 

(19) Herts, 500. (26) Durham, 227. 

2. In the number of Conventicles the difference between Somerset 
and all the other counties is still more extraordinary. 

(i) Somerset has 129 ; and (2) London comes next with only 32. 
(3) Warwick is third with 25. (4) Wilts fourth with 24. (5) Leices- 
tershire comes next with 19 ; and (6) Suffolk tied with them. (7) York- 
shire is seventh with 18. (8) Essex and (9) Berks each have 17. 
(10) Staffordshire is tenth with 16. (n) Bucks, (12) Sussex, and (13) 
Hants have each 15. (14) Northumberland and (15) Nottinghamshire 
each score 14. (16) Cheshire has 13; (17) Devon, n ; (18) Herts, 10 ; 
(19) Durham, 9 ; (20) Kent has 8 ; (21) Middlesex, (22) Surrey, and 

(23) Dorset have each 7 ; (24) Worcester has 5 ; (25) Lancashire and 
(26) Norfolk have 4 ; (27) Cumberland and (28) Bedfordshire 2 ; 
(29) Cambridge and (30) Glamorgan i. 

3. In the number of Houses the totals in each county are on much 
the same scale as the Conventicles. 

(i) Somerset is first with 112. (2) Warwick comes second with 32. 
(3) London is third with 28. (4) Wilts is fourth with 25. (5) Suffolk 
comes next with 19. (6) Staffs and (7) Berks take the next place with 
17. (8) Hants is eighth with 13. (9) Bucks and (10) Sussex come next 
with 12. (n) Yorkshire follows with 10. (12) Durham and (13) 
Devon each have 8. (14) Surrey has 7. (15) Notts, (16) Salop, (17) 
Norfolk, (18) Middlesex, and (19) Dorset each have 5. (20) Worcester 
and (21) Herts have 4 each. (22) Derby and (23) Cambs have each 3. 

(24) Kent has 2 + x. (25) Northumberland has 2, and (26) Lancashire 
and (27) Glamorgan each have one House reported in which Conven- 
ticles are held. 

4. Coming to the number of Presbyterian Teachers, there is perhaps 
need of reminder that the figures here given are of each Teacher or 
Preacher reported as preaching at any of the places where Conventicles 
are returned, though the same Teacher or Preacher may minister to 
several Conventicles. Again, of course : 


130 Detailed and Expository 

(i) Somerset heads the list with 287. (2) Wilts follows with 70. 
(3) Leicestershire comes third with 44. (4) Warwick fourth with 41. 
(5) Staffs and (6) Bucks are fifth with 34 each ; and (7) London almost 
ties them with 33. (8) Yorkshire comes seventh with 31. (9) Sussex 
comes next with 30. (10) Berks, (n) Hants, and (12) Devon tie for 
the next place with 27. (13) Suffolk has 21, and (14) Essex 19. (15) 
Derby has 17 ; (16) Notts has 16 ; (17) Herts has 14 ; (i 8) Salop has 
13 ; and (19) Middlesex 12. (20) Surrey has 9. (21) Norfolk and 
(22) Kent have each 7. (23) Worcester and (24) Dorest report 5 each ; 
and (25) Northumberland and (26) Cambridgeshire 4 each ; (27) Bed- 
fordshire claims 3 ; and (28) Durham and (29) Glamorgan each i. 

II. CONGREGATIONALISTS. The very modest numbers credited to 
this Denomination were distributed as is shown in the accompanying 
Schedule : 








I. I. 

Northumberland ... 





Durham ... 


29 + * 


















II. 7. 



60 + 4A- 








380 + * 




1 1. 













Leicester ... 





Rutland ... 

III. 15. 

Hereford ... 


Worcester ... 




Warwick ... 






Northants .. 

19. j Gloucester 









IV. 22. 







201 + 3* 




1 1 


702 + 3* 












2,985 + II* 

?* / " 



1 1 

I I 

380 + 3* 






Carried forward ... 

1 66 



6,122 + 3I# 

Episcopal Returns 







Brought forward 

1 66 



6,122 + 31* 

V. 29. 











500 + * 


London ... 




1,500 + 4* 






1,013 + 3* 












450 + 2* 






435 + 3* 

VI. 36. 







Somerset ... 




550 + * 













Cornwall ... 


All England 






VII. i. 



Denbigh ... 










90 + 4* 


Cardigan ... 






Pembroke ... 









535 + 2* 






2,160 + * 

All Wales 




2,785 + 7* 

England and Wales 




14,099 + 57* 

I. In the numbers of Conventiclers. 

(i.) If x is taken at 90 : 

(i) Norfolk comes out as the premier county with 3,975. (2) The 
Welsh county of Monmouth comes second with 2,250, more than 1,700 
behind. (3) London is third with 1,860. (4) Kent follows with 1,283. 
(5) Cambridge comes next with nearly 1,000 (972). (6) The Welsh 
county of Glamorgan comes sixth with 715. (7) Hampshire follows 
with 705. (8) Suffolk is next with 650. (9) Somerset is ninth with 
640. (10) Yorkshire is tenth with 635, and (n) Sussex eleventh with 
630. (12) Middlesex has 590. Then there is a gap of over 100, and 
(13) Bedfordshire comes next with 471. (14) Notts follows close with 
470. (15) Montgomery comes out with 450. (16) Cheshire has 420 ; 

132 Detailed and Expository 

and (17) Berks 405. Then follows (18) Dorset with 334 ; (19) Essex 
is next with 270 ; (20) Staffs is twentieth in the list with 250 ; (21) 
Herts comes next with 200 ; and (22) Devon with the same number. 

(23) Bucks has 180; (24) Wilts, 155 ; (25) Northumberland, 135 ; (26) 
Durham follows Northumberland with 119; (27) Surrey has 100 ; 
(28) Cumberland but 60 ; (29) Worcester but 35; (30) Leicester only 
32; (31) Salop, 30; and (32) Warwick is the last in the list with 
only 8. 

(ii) If x is taken as 50 the order slightly varies : 

(i) Of course, Norfolk is still first with 3,535 ; and (2) Monmouth 
second with 2,210 ; while (3) London keeps the third place with 1,700 ; 
and (4) Kent is fourth with 1,163 5 (5) Cambridge fifth with 852. But 
at this point variation begins. (6) Glamorgan comes sixth, as before, 
with 635 ; but (7) Yorks ties Glamorgan. (8) Somerset is eighth with 
600 ; (9) Hants is ninth with 585 ; (10) Middlesex is tenth with 550, 
and (i i) Sussex has the same number; (12) Suffolk comes twelfth with 
530. There is now a gap of exactly 100, and (13) Notts is next with 
430; (14) Bedfordshire follows, but at a distance, with 351 ; (15) Dorset 
with 334 ; (16) Montgomery with 290 ; (17) Cheshire has 260 ; (18) 
Staffs 250 ; (19) Berks 245 ; (20) Herts exactly 20O, and (21) Devon 
the same ; (22) Essex claims only 150; (23) Northumberland, 135 ; 

(24) Wilts, 115 ; (25) Bucks and (26) Surrey have exactly 100 each ; 
(27) Durham has 79 ; (28) Cumberland, 60 ; (29) Worcester, 35 ; 

(30) Leicester has 32, and (31) Salop has 30 ; and (32) Warwick is last, 
as before, with 8 Conventiclers. 

2. In numbers of Conventicles reported the Congregationalist figures 
are very small. 

(i) Norfolk heads the list with 31. (2) Monmouth is second with 
25. (3) Yorks and (4) Cambridgeshire dispute the third place with 12 
each. (5) Suffolk comes next with 1 1. (6) London and (7) Montgomery 
have both 10. (8) Sussex is eighth with 9. (9) Kent and (10) Hants 
have each 8. (n) The English Bedfordshire and (12) the Welsh 
Glamorgan have each 7. (13) Notts has 6. (14) Cheshire, (15) Berks, 
and (16) Somerset have each 5. (17) Salop has 4. (18) Lancashire, 
(19) Essex, and (20) Dorset have each 3 ; and no less than six counties 
have each 2 Conventicles viz., (21) Durham, (22) Cumberland, (23) 
Leicester, (24) Bucks, (25) Middlesex, and (26) Wilts ; and seven have i 
viz., (27) Northumberland, (28) Staffs, (29) Worcester, (30) Warwick, 

(31) Herts, (32) Surrey, and (33) Devon. 

3. In number of Houses in which Conventicles were reported : 

(i) Norfolk is still first with 36 ; (2) Monmouth still second with 29. 
From this figure there is a great drop. As before (3) Cambridge comes 
third with 1 1 ; but (4) Suffolk (not Yorks) is associated with Cambridge 
with the same number. (5) Glamorgan comes fifth with 10. (6) Yorks 
disputes the next place with (7) London, each with 9. (8) Notts, (9) 
Sussex, and (10) Montgomery each have 8. (n) Berks and (12) Wilts 
have 6 each ; (13) Kent and (14) Somerset each have 4. Four counties 
contest the next place viz., (15) Lancashire, (16) Staffordshire, (17) 
Hampshire, and (18) Dorset, with 3 each; (19) Middlesex and (20) 
Devon have 2 each ; and six counties have only one House reported 

Episcopal Returns 

in each for Congregational Conventicles viz., (21) Salop, (22) Warwick, 
(23) Bucks, (24) Bedfordshire, (25) Herts, and (26) Surrey. 

4. Of Congregational Teachers, the numbers reported (in the 
ambiguous way I have already referred to in many cases) are as follows : 

(i) Norfolk, still first, with 57. (2) Monmouth second, with 38. 
(3) Cambridge third, with 34. (4) Somerset fourth, with 18. (5) Yorks 
and (6) Sussex have 17 each. (7) Suffolk has 16. (8) Bedfordshire 
comes next with n. (9) London is ninth with 10. (10) Kent and 
(n) Glamorgan have each 9 ; and (12) Montgomery 8. (13) Hants has 
7. (14) Notts, (15) Leicester, (16) Essex, and (17) Wilts have each 5. 
(18) Herts, (19) Berks, and (20) Dorset have each 4. (21) Salop and 
(22) Staffs have each 3. (23) Cumberland, (24) Bucks, and (25) Middle- 
sex each have 2 ; and four counties are reported with only I each viz., 
(25) Northumberland, (26) Warwick, (27) Surrey, and (28) Devon. 

III. BAPTISTS. In no less than twenty-seven counties out of the 
fifty-two we reckon in England and Wales, no Baptists were reported 
at all. Of eight of these we must of course remember no Returns were 
sent in. Still that leaves nineteen ; that is, eight of the English coun- 
ties and eleven of the Welsh, of which the Episcopal authorities report 
no Anabaptists at all. Indeed, in only one Welsh county do they 
know any Baptists, viz., Monmouth ; and only two of the Northern 
counties, viz., Durham and Lancashire. 

Nor do they perceive any in Suffolk and Essex of the Eastern group, 
nor one in any of the three Westernmost of our English counties, 
counties so important to English Nonconformity as Dorset, Devon, and 

The distribution of numbers in the twenty-three counties in which 
they are recognized is shown in the following table : 








I. I. 






5 2 


Cumberland ... 









II. 7. 




















Salop ... 










2 5 ? 


422 + x 



Carried forward 




904 + 5* 

134 Detailed and Expository 







Brought forward ... 





III. 15. 













376 + 8* 










2 5 

2 5 

570+ 10* 

IV. 22. 






272 + 2* 






610 + 3* 






522 + 3* 






175 + 3* 





V. 29. 


ii ? 



ii +6* 








1,500 + 3* 






236+ 13* 



5- ? 



140 + * 



ii ? 



370 + 9* 






76 + * 

VI. 36. 





171 + 8* 






460 + * 







All England 




6,448 + 76* 


VII i. 










Montgomery ... 








_ ., 




Carmarthen ... 

1 1. 

Glamorgan ... 


Monmouth ... 





All Wales ... 





England and Wales 




6,708 + 76* 

Episcopal Returns 135 

1. Number of Conventiclers. 

We will again give x average values. 

(i.) If we assign 90 as its value, the list comes out as follows : 

(i) London stands first with 1,770, but that is largely because one 
Conventicle in Shad Thames is reported as attended by 1,000 the 
spiritual ' ancestor ' of Spurgeon's Tabernacle. (2) Bucks is second 
with 1,470. (3) Kent comes third with 1,406. (4) Sussex, fourth, 
with i, 1 80 ; and (5) Warwick fifth with 1,096. 

After this we come to very modest figures. 

(6) Wilts is sixth with 891 ; (7) Cambridgeshire boasts of 880 ; 
and (8) Herts is eighth with 792. With a drop of over 300, the next 
is (9) Berks with 551 ; and (10) Somerset, within one of the same 
number, with 550. (n) Leicestershire follows with 512; and (12) 
Beds follows Leicester with 452. (13) Then comes Norfolk with 
445. (14) Notts comes next, with a gap of nearly 150, with 300. 
(15) Cheshire has 270. (16) Monmouth, 260 ; and (17) Surrey, 230 ; 

(18) Hants follows (with a big interval of nearly 70), with 166. 

(19) Staffordshire has 125. (20) Worcestershire, only 55. (21) Durham, 
52. (22) Lancashire but 40. (23) Derby only 30 ; and (24) Salop is 
last with 25. 

(ii.) If we assign to x the value of 50, the order remains the same 
for the first 3 in the list ; and its last 7, but the intermediate 14 slightly 
change their places. 

(i) London is first with 1,650. (2) Bucks is second with 1,070 ; 
and (3) Kent is third with 886; (4) Sussex is fourth with 820; and 
(5) Warwick is fifth with 776; while Hampshire is eighteenth with 
126 ; Staffs is nineteenth with 85 ; Worcester is twentieth with 55 ; 
Durham is twenty-first with 52 ; Lancashire is twenty-second with 
40; Derby is twenty-third with 30; and Salop is last with 25. 


(6) Cambridge is sixth with 760. (7) Herts is seventh with 672. 
(8) Wilts is eighth with 571. (9) Somerset is next with 510, and 
(10) Leicester is tenth with 472. With a drop of 100 (n) Beds 
follows with 372. (12) Norfolk is twelfth with 325. (13) Berks 
comes next with 311. (14) Notts is next with 300. (15) Monmouth 
follows with her unchanged 260. (16) Surrey is next with 190 only ; 
and (17) Cheshire is seventeenth with 150 (instead of fifteenth). 

London, Buckinghamshire, and Kent, then, are the counties which 
to the eyes of the Episcopal authorities are most ' troubled ' with Ana- 
baptists. Though in Warwick, Herts, and Sussex, they are influential. 

2. In the number of Conventicles reported the numbers strangely 
vary : 

(i) Bucks stand first with 25. (2) Kent comes second with 20. 
(3) Sussex and (4) Wilts claim the third place with 19. (5) Leicester 
comes next with 18 Conventicles. (6) Warwick follows with 16. 
(7) Beds is next with 15. (8) Cambridgeshire and (9) Somerset both 
report n. Four counties report 7, viz.: (10) Herts, (n) Norfolk, 
(12) Berks, and (13) London. (14) Notts, and (15) Worcester each 
return 6. (16) Lancashire, (17) Staffs, and (18) Hants, all have only 4. 

136 Detailed and Expository 

(19) Cheshire, (20) Surrey, and (21) Monmouth, can boast only of 
3 each. (22) Derby reports only 2 ; and (23) Durham, and (24) Salop 
contest the last place, as each having only one Baptist Conventicle. 

3. In number of Houses in which Conventicles are reported : 

(i) Bucks is again first with 25. (2) Wilts is second with 18. 
(3) Warwick is third with 16. (4) Sussex fourth with 14. (5) Berks 
is fifth with ii. (6) Somerset is sixth with 8. (7) Notts, (8) Cam- 
bridgeshire, (9) Norfolk, and (10) London, claim the seventh place 
with 7 each, (n) Herts has 6. (12) Staffs, (13) Worcester, and 
(14) Kent, each have -5. (15) Surrey, and (16) Monmouth have 
only 3; while (17) Derby, and (18) Hants have only 2; and (19) 
Cheshire is reported with only i. 

4. In the number of Teachers some striking differences appear : 

(i) As before Bucks comes out first with 36. But (2) Leicester, 
which has no houses reported at all, is second in number of Teachers with 
2 5- (S) Wilts comes third with 20. (4) Beds fourth with 18. 
(5) Warwick and (6) Kent come next, each with 17. (7) Herts follows 
with 13. (8) Notts is eighth with 12. (9) Berks and (10) Sussex 
each have 11. (n) Cambridge and (12) Norfolk, each have 10. 
(13) Worcester and (14) Somerset, each have 7. (15) London comes 
next with 6. (16) Surrey, 5. (17) Derby, 4. (18) Monmouth, 3; 
and (19) Hants, is last with 2. 

To Episcopal eyes and ears, therefore, Buckinghamshire is altogether 
strongest in Baptists ; though Kent, London, and Warwick are as strong 
or even stronger, and Shropshire, Durham, and Hants are weaker than 
any other counties which report any Baptists at all. 

IV. QUAKERS. Of the couniies of which we have Episcopal 
Returns, only three report no Quakers ; Northumberland in the extreme 
north, and Essex and Middlesex, close to London. 

Of the thirty-two which are reported, twelve give definite numbers 
of Conventiclers as well as of Conventicles, but the other twenty report 
Conventicles, with no estimate of the numbers attending them. 

Among the former is Yorkshire, which, apart from any doubtful 
quantities, and even when the highest values are given to them, stands 
distinctly first with 2,200. 

Among the latter, as far as definite numbers are concerned, London 
would stand next, though nearly 1,000 behind Yorks ; Wilts and 
Somerset coming third and fourth ; and Suffolk following, though far 

When we give x any definite value, and when we look at the 
other numerable items of information, we find that order quite upset. 

It will be better, therefore, to present the table of the figures, and 
point out the order when each item is separately considered. 

Episcopal Returns 









I. I. 








Cumberland ... 

















II. 7. 



140+ 1$X 







Notts ... 



1 1 



Lines ... 

1 1. 








1 1 


205 + 3* 






I 4 . 


III. I 5 . 




1 6. 










100 + 4* 

1 8. 





Oxon ... 



I 4 ? 

2 5 



IV. 22. 











336 + * 






500 + 8* 






700 + * 






612 + zx 






676+ 5* 



V. 29. 



J 5 


600 + 9* 







1,250 + * 






2+ II* 











240 + * 






575 + 4* 

VI. 36. 





1,115 + 6* 






I,O2O + * 












All England 





- - 

i 3 8 

Detailed and Expository 







Brought forward ... 






VII. i. 






4. i Merioneth 

5. | Montgomery ... 



75 + 2* 





8. | Brecon 

9. ' Pembroke 

10. ! Carmarthen ... 

1 1. i Glamorgan 




70 + 2* 


Monmouth ... 




35 + 2* 

All Wales 




1 80 + 6* 

England and Wales 




13,751 + 103* 

i. First, then, as to the number of Quaker Conventlclers. 

(i.) If 90 be the value given to x, the various counties come out in 
the following order : 

(i) Yorkshire leads with its indubitable 2,22O. (2) Cheshire comes 
second with 1,850; and (3) Bucks third with 1,730. (4) Wilts will be 
fourth with 1,655. (S) Berks next with 1,410. (6) London sixth with 
1,340. (7) Cambridgeshire seventh with 1,220. (8) Suffolk follows 
with 1,126. (9) Somerset next with 1,110. (10) Kent has 992. 
(n) Hants, 935. (12) Norfolk follows at an interval of more than 40, 
with 792 ; but (13) Herts is very close to Norfolk with 790. Then 
comes a gap of 100 ; and (14) Sussex appears with 690. (15) Surrey 
follows with 640. (16) Lancashire is near Surrey with 630. But the 
next (17), Staffs, has but 470; with (18) Warwick, with 460; and 
(19) Beds, with 426. (20) Notts comes next with 415. (21) Worcester 
is twenty-first with 350. (22) Leicestershire has 270. Two of the 
Welsh counties come next : (23) Montgomery, with 255 ; and (24) 
Glamorgan with 250. (25) Cumberland comes next with 220 ; and 
then the third Welsh county (26) Monmouth, with 215. (27) West- 
morland is reported for 170. (28) Derby for 100. (29) Durham for 
90; and (30) Devon for the same. (31) Salop has only 60 ; and Dorset 
is last with only 25. 

(ii.) If we give x the value of 50, the order is : 

(i) Yorkshire first, 2,220. (2) Wilts second, 1,415. (3) London 
third, 1,300. (4) Bucks is fourth, 1,130. (5) Cheshire fifth, 1,090. 
(6) Somerset next with 1,070. (7) Berks quite close with 1,050. 
Then (8) Suffolk, 926. (9) Cambridge, 900. (10) Hampshire is tenth 

Episcopal Returns 139 

with 775. (u) Herts follows with 750. (12) Norfolk, with 712. 
(13) Lancashire comes next with 630 (nearly 100 less). (14) Surrey 
next, with 600. (15) Kent has 552. (16) Sussex follows with 490. 
(17) Notts, after a great interval (130) comes next with 415. (18) 
Beds has 386. (19) Staffs, 355. (20) Worcester, 350. (21) Warwick 
is twenty-first with 300. (22) Leicester, 270. (23) Cumberland, 220. 

(24) Montgomery and (25) Glamorgan, follow one another with 175 
and 170 ; but (26) Westmorland ties Glamorgan, and the third Welsh 
county (27) Monmouth, follows suit with 135. (28) Derbyshire holds 
the same position as in the previous list with her 100. (29) Durham, 
with 90. (30) Salop, with her 60. (31) Devon, with 50 ; and (31) 
Dorset, again, is last with her 25. 

2. In number of Conventicles : 

(i) The pre-eminence of Yorkshire is still more pronounced. She 
has 58 ; and the next county (2) Bucks has 35 less, only 23. (3) Cheshire 
is almost even, with 22. (4) Cambridge comes next with 18. (5) Wilts 
has 15. (6) Berks, 14 ; and (7) Beds, 13. (8) Lancashire, (9) Kent, 
and (10) Hants have 12 each, (n) Notts, (12) Leicester, (13) Norfolk, 
and (14) Suffolk, have n each. (15) Staffs, and (16) Somerset, 10 each. 
(17) Sussex has 7. (18) Cumberland, 6. (19) Warwick has 5* 
(20) Herts, (21) Kent, and (22) Monmouth, have each 4. Six counties 
boast 3 Conventicles each, viz. : (23) Durham, (24) Westmorland, 

(25) Derby, (26) Worcester, (27) Montgomery, and (28) Glamorgan ; 
and three have each I, viz. : (29) Salop, (30) Dorset, and (31) Devon. 

3. In number of Houses: 

(i) Yorks has 29. (2) Bucks, 25. (3) Berks, 15. Four counties 
contest the fourth place with n each : (4) Staffs, (5) Cambs, (6) Hants, 
and (7) Wilts. (8) Notts and (9) Somerset, have 10 each. (10) Suffolk 
has 9. (n) Norfolk, 8. (12) Sussex, 7. Then come four counties 
with 5 each, viz. : (13) Derby, (14) Kent, (15) Glamorgan, and (16) Mon- 
mouth. (17) Durham, (18) Warwick, (19) Herts, and (20) London, 
have 4 each. (21) Worcester and (22) Montgomery, have each 3. 
(23) Beds and (24) Surrey, each have 2 ; and (25) Salop and (26) Devon, 
only one apiece. 

4. Finally, in Teachers, according to the numbers given which, ot 
course, are of scarcely any significance the order of the counties is : 

(i) Leicester, 22. (2) Beds, 18. (3) Berks, 17. (4) Yorks, (5) Bucks, 
and (6) Somerset, 14 each. (7) Cambridge, 12. (8) Herts, and (9) Kent, 8. 
(9) Notts, (10) Norfolk, and (n) Wilts, 7 each. (12) Suffolk, 5. 
(13) Hants, 3. (14) Warwick, (15) Glamorgan, and (16) Monmouth, 
2 each ; and (17) Staffs, and (18) Sussex, i Teacher apiece. 

140 Detailed and Expository 


THE Returns for 1676 preserved in Vol. 639 are even fewer than those 
for 1665. We have two complete and detailed viz., those from 
Canterbury and Salisbury ; and summaries of the total numbers from 
two other Dioceses viz., York and Winchester. And this is 
absolutely everything for 1676, which is an integral part of the MS. 

Were we dependent, therefore, upon the Archives preserved in 
Lambeth Library in this Vol. 639, we should be left to mere specula- 
tion (as we were with the 1665 Returns) to determine the question 
whether or no these four Returns were the only ones sent up to 
Canterbury in response to Sheldon's Enquiries in 1676. But fortunately 
we are not. Even the MS. volume helps us to a decided negative. 
For, though clearly no part of the original MS., and therefore not 
reproduced by me in Vol. I., I found inserted in it, just before the 
Canterbury Returns, on a large, loose leaf, a carefully drawn up Table, 
headed 'Religious Census, 1676. Account of the Province of 
'Canterbury.' It is arranged in eight columns, the first giving the 
names of the 22 Dioceses in the Province (18 in England and 4 in 
Wales) ; the next three columns giving the numbers of Conformists, 
Nonconformists, and Papists respectively in each ; and the other four 
columns giving the proportions of (i) Nonconformists to Conformists ; 
(2) Papists to Conformists ; (3) Both Nonconformists and Papists to 
Conformists ; and (4) Papists to Nonconformists in each of the 22 

It is drawn up in another handwriting, and evidently compiled at a 
later date than the body of the Episcopal Returns in the midst of which 
it is inserted. Indeed the document bears a separate signature : j-J-R. 

Clearly, then, Returns were sent in from every one of the Dioceses, 
though only four have been preserved in this MS. volume, and of the 
four only two are complete and detailed. 

Still more significant, too, is the note written at the foot of the 
page : < MS. Salt apud Stafford.' 

This note, however, would be quite cryptic did we not know 
though the knowledge seems confined to a very small number of 
workers in this field of research that in the William Salt Public 
Reference Library, in Stafford, are preserved in a thick folio volume the 
whole of the Returns for 1676, with all the minute detail given in the 
two we have reproduced in Vol. I., from the Dioceses of Canterbury 
and Sarum, of the total population, the numbers of Papists, and the 
numbers of ' other Sectaries,' in every parish of each Deanery or Arch- 
deaconry in every Diocese in England and Wales. 

On ascertaining these facts, I debated long whether I should make 
these 'Original Documents' more complete, by asking permission to 
reproduce the MS. volume in the Salt Library, and place its contents 
side by side with those I have reproduced from Lambeth and the 

Episcopal Returns 141 

Record Office. Considerations of economy, however, both of time and 
money, finally decided me not to attempt it. 

I will confess that my interest in this work centred so much 
more in the personalities of the pioneers of this great movement than in 
the numbers whom it gathered, that I could not face the toil involved 
in reproducing Tables which give no names (save those of the clergy 
who are responsible for the figures sent in for their individual parishes), 
and deal with figures only. 

Still, of course, numbers have their value ; and Sheldon had a very 
definite object in view when he put his clergy to the difficult task of 
collecting the numbers scheduled, in part in the Returns I have printed 
in Vol. L, and in detail for the whole Kingdom in the MS. volume, 
preserved in the Salt Library. 

That object was to ascertain the numerical strength of the Non- 
conformists in the various parishes and districts in England and Wales ; 
his hope and confidence being that the figures when gathered and 
summarized would justify him in representing them to the King and 
his advisers as so feeble a folk that they might safely neglect them in 
any further action they might take for the strengthening of the State 
Church, and securing the loyal adherence of its members. And I doubt 
not that he would point to the figures he secured as a triumphant vin- 
dication of his past policy and present position. 

As showing the broad conclusions he would draw, I here reproduce 
the Abstract (p. 142). 

The fifth column shows the proportion of Nonconformists to Con- 
formists in each Diocese. From this Sheldon could point to the facts 
that even in the cases most favourable to Nonconformity, Protestant 
Nonconformists were only as I to 9 in Canterbury, as I to 12 in 
London, and as I to 1 5 in Rochester ; that in Winchester they were 
but as i to 19 ; in Chichester as I to 20 ; that in Norwich, Lincoln, 
and Ely, they were but as I to 2 1 ; and in Bath and Wells, only i in 
24. He could point to the facts that in Sarum they were only as i to 
25 ; in Gloucester, i to 26 ; in Worcester and St. David's, they were 
only as i to 28 ; in Coventry and Lichfield and Bristol, but as i to 30 ; 
in Exeter, only as i to 38 ; and in Peterborough, as i to 43 ; while in 
the rest they were only a tiny fraction of the numbers of Conformists : 
in LlandafF, only ^ ; in Hereford, ^ ; in St. Asaph, -fa ; in Oxford, X T ; 
and in Bangor, only T \^. 

So that the strength of Nonconformity was least in the Welsh 
Diocese of Bangor, and in the English Diocese of Oxford, while it was 
greatest in the Dioceses of Rochester, London, and Canterbury (Sheldon's 
own Diocese). Curiously enough, then, according to the Anglicans' 
own showing, the Nonconformists were strongest in Kent and London, 
the parts of England nearest the centres of supreme authority in Church 
and State. 

Yet even there, they could argue, they were so weak that a few years 
of resolute government and persistent execution of the Penal Statutes 
against them would certainly reduce them to insignificance and 

1 42 Detailed and Expository 


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Episcopal Returns 143 

The implication, of course, was that if fourteen years of Penal 
Legislation had reduced the Nonconformists to such a pitiable plight, 
* patient continuance in ' such ' well-doing ' would before long ex- 
terminate them altogether. 

In such a tabulation of figures, and in such arguments based upon 
them, however, there were two sophisms at least which much weakened 
their force. 

The Abstract contrasted Protestant Nonconformists with Con- 
formists, while the Enquiries of Sheldon did not speak of Conformists 
at all. Sheldon asked for the numbers of Papists, the numbers of other 
persistent Sectaries, and the numbers (not of Conformists, but) of the 
total population of each parish according to common repute. It is 
clear that ' J.R.,' in drawing up his Abstract, arrived at the number of 
< Conformists,' not by estimating the number of godly communicants, 
or even of regular frequenters of the Parish Church, but by the simple 
arithmetical process of adding the Recusants together, Papist and 
Protestant, and then subtracting that total from the total population of 
the parish.* 

It is quite in accordance with the State Church's usual mode of 
reckoning to count as members of her fold all parishioners who are not 
definitely Recusant ; and it is abundantly evident that the ecclesiastical 
authorities of this period were far more concerned to reach and punish 
any parishioner who refused to attend the Parish Church and to 
' communicate ' there, though it were from the highest motives, and 
purely from ' scruples of conscience,' than to deal with and ' discipline ' 
those who absented themselves from carelessness, indifference, or rank 

So true is this, indeed, that the student of the Visitation Records of 
this period will very seldom go astray, if he reckons as conscientious 
Nonconformists those who are ' presented * in the ecclesiastical courts 
for * not coming to Church,' or for ' refusing to come to their own 
'parish Church,' 'to hear divine service and sermon,' or c to receive the 
c Holy Communion.' 

Candour must admit that this simple negation of Recusancy 
(whether Papist or Protestant) does not constitute a Conformity to the 
Anglican Church Establishment that has in it much spiritual significance 
or moral worth. A great preponderance in numbers of men or women 
estimated as Conformists by such methods as these does not prove any 
preponderance whatever in a particular parish or district of religious 
force or influence. Statistics gained along such lines were a very poor 
test of the relative strength or weakness of Nonconformity in the 

There is a second point, moreover, which statistics of this kind 
ignore altogether. Such Returns merely count heads, without any 
attempt to estimate the force and quality of the brains within them, or 

* It is an odd accident (surely) that for Canterbury Diocese the number in the 
' Conformists ' column has been transferred, without any deduction at all, from the 
first column of the Summa Totaksi.e., the total number of inhabitants ! The same is 
true also of the figures here given for Winchester. 

Detailed and Expository 

of the heart and character of the men and women who carry them. In 
things spiritual as well as things military, one real leader may be worth 
more than a whole host of ' followers.' One great teacher, one moving 
preacher, may outweigh in spiritual power scores or hundreds of humble 
listeners though perfectly sincere, just as truly as a great tactician or 
general of genius and magnetic power may count for more in a military 
campaign than hundreds of the rank and file arrayed against him. 

So that as we think of the men of spiritual might, men of scholarship 
and eloquence, of sanctity and heroism like the ejected of 1662, their 
comrades and disciples who each count only as * one ' in this ' enumera- 
< tion ' or < census ' of the Nonconformist host, we cannot but turn away 
from such a tabulation as practically worth very little. Yet here it is ; 
and certain other facts which it brings out are worthy of separate notice. 
The numbers of Nonconformists reported in these Returns we may be 
sure are not exaggerated. The various parochial officials admit that 
in 1676 there were well on to 100,000 of the inhabitants of England 
and Wales pronounced and convinced Nonconformists the exact total 
given in this Schedule being 93,154. Of that 93,000 odd more than a 
fifth were in the Diocese of London 20,893. ^ n numbers, Lincoln 
Diocese comes next with nearly half that number viz., 10,001. 
Norwich and Winchester come next, each with nearly 8,000 to their 
credit, Norwich with 7,934, and Winchester with 7,904. Canterbury 
now follows with over 6,000 (6,287), and the two Dioceses in the 
4 West Countree' are not far behind ; Bath and Wells with 5,856, and 
Exeter with 5,406 ; and the Midland Diocese of Lichfield with Coven- 
try is near them with over 5,000 (viz., 5,042) ; while Sarum comes in 
with over 4,000 viz., 4,075. Chichester reports 2,452 ; Gloucester 
and St. David's have each over 2,300, (Gloucester 2,363, and St. 
David's 2,368) ; and Bristol nearly matches them with 2,200. Peter- 
borough has to confess to over 2,000 (2,081), Rochester to over 1,700 
(1,752) ; Ely to over 1,400 (1,416), Worcester to 1,325, and Oxford 
to 1,122 : and the 3 Welsh Dioceses of Llandaff, St. Asaph, and 
Bangor complete the list with the smallest tale of Nonconformists : 
Llandaff boasting of only 719 ; St. Asaph of but 635 ; and Bangor with 
not 250 ; (viz., 247). 

So much we have felt it necessary rbecause illuminating to say 
about this interpolated Abstract or Summary of the 1676 Returns as a 

Now to turn to the two Diocesan Returns which we have in 
639, and which I have reproduced in detail in Vol. I. They come 
from Sheldon of Canterbury and Ward of Sarum, the two on the 
whole Episcopal bench who were most eager for the suppression of 

i. From the very first Gilbert Sheldon had been at the heart of the 
movement against the Nonconformists which in 1662 culminated in the 
Act of Uniformity, although at that time Juxon was Archbishop of 
Canterbury, and Sheldon was only Bishop of London and Master of the 
Savoy ; and since his elevation to the See of Canterbury, and Primacy 
of the Established Church (in 1663) he had been foremost in stiffening 
Parliament in the policy of persecution. 

Episcopal Returns 145 

It was he who had secured the passage of the first Conventicle Act 
in 1664 ; as well as of the Five Mile Act in 1665 ; and (as we have 
pointed out elsewhere) it was in preparation for the re-enactment of the 
Conventicle Act (with astutely contrived additions), which was actually 
effected in 1670, that he secured the Conventicle Returns of 1669. 

Two years later, it is true, while Parliament was in Recess, Sheldon's 
Royal master legally the Supreme Governor of the Church and De- 
fender of the Faith had quietly undone all his ten years' labour by the 
Declaration of Indulgence which suspended the Penal Statutes he and 
his associates had managed to get upon the Statute Books. With the 
reassembling of Parliament in 1673 Sheldon marshalled his forces in both 
Houses to retake the positions they had lost : and they showed to Charles 
so resolute a determination to refuse supplies till the Statutes were rein- 
stated, that they speedily brought him to his knees. Spite his bold 
avowal that he would stand by his Indulgence, three days' resistance was 
enough to compel the King to withdraw his Declaration and, with his 
own Royal hand, to break the Great Seal attached to it. Sheldon's 
object was once more regained. The penal legislation was declared to 
be in full force ; and Sheldon gave to his clergy the strictest injunctions 
that they should see to it that the Civil Magistrates should second the 
Ecclesiastical authorities in the most rigorous repression of all Con- 
venticles and all unauthorized teaching. 

It is quite possible that in the wider work which occupied Sheldon 
(as Archbishop) in the political as well as in the ecclesiastical world, his 
more specific duties as Bishop might somewhat suffer. He would not be 
able as he certainly did not seem inclined as did Gunning in Sussex, 
and Carleton in Bristol to see personally to the enforcement within 
the parishes of Eastern Kent of those measures which he had success- 
fully pressed both upon Parliament, upon his brother-Bishops, and upon 
his clergy. That may in part account for the apparent failure in his 
Diocese as compared with the splendid success of the Bishop of Sarum 
in his. 

Yet he was aided in Canterbury by a man as strong against the Non- 
conformists as Seth Ward, and one who, by his virulence against them, 
was making good his way to higher preferments. I refer to Samuel 
Parker, whom Sheldon had made one of his chaplains in 1665, at the 
same time stimulating his seal by giving him the Archdeaconry of 

We have visible proof of his activity in this business, for the Returns 
for Canterbury, reprinted on pp. 20-26 of Vol. I., were drawn up by 
him, and bear his signature 'Sam Parker, Arch: Diac. Cantuar.' 

At the commencement of James II. 's reign he was elevated to 
the See of Oxford ; and it was over his appointment by Royal Man- 
damus to the Presidency of Magdalen College that the struggle broke 
out, which brought matters to a head in the contest between the Roman 
Catholic King and a Protestant nation, issuing in the flight of James II. 
and the enthronement of William of Orange. 

II. Seth Ward to whom we owe the second of these Returns 
(reprinted on pp. 127-136 of Vol. I.) was not a whit behind Sheldon in 


146 Detailed and Expository 

anti-sectarian zeal ; and, if his figures have any value, he was far more 
successful in the suppression of Nonconformity. He had begun with 
vigour at the Restoration, and as Bishop of Exeter had given proof of 
his keenness as a persecutor, and his efficiency as a Bishop by the fulness 
of the Returns he sent up to Canterbury in 1665. Those Returns, as 
we have already seen, are by far the most valuable of all that are preserved 
in Lambeth for that year. 

The same accuracy and fulness of detail characterize the Returns he 
sent in for Sarum, only two years after his translation, in 1669: and 
here, in 1676, we find the same characteristics. 

The document is headed : ' 1676, May io th . An Account of the 
' Number & Proportions of Popish Recusants, Obstinate Separatists, 
'Conformists Inhabitants in Wiltshire and Berks under the Jurisdic- 
tion Imediate of the BP of Sarum. By Seth Ward.' To the 
tabulated details of every Parish within those limits, giving the numbers 
of ' Pop.-Recusants,' 'Sectaries' and 'Inhabitants,' in three several 
columns, he prefixes a Table of Totals for the several Deaneries and 
Archdeaconries within those limits, and on a separate folio, 'An 
' Abstract of the Numbers and Proportions ' in the Diocese as a whole. 
A comparison of this last with the line referring to ' Salisbury ' in the 
' Religious Census ' Abstract, shows very close agreement, though the 
slight divergence is enough to prove that the larger Table is by a 
different hand. 

There is one fact, however, which might easily escape observation, 
which most completely deprives these figures of their superficial signi- 
ficance. For some reason or other, in the '76 Returns, the whole of 
Dorset is omitted : and several other items in R. 248^-R. 250 in the 
'69 Returns have no counterpart in those of 1676. Yet Dorset alone 
accounts for from 1,350 to 1,400 : and the other items account for from 
1,875 to 2,200 together amounting to from 3,125 to nearly 3,600. 

The Enquiries to which Sheldon had asked for tabulated replies are 
prefixed verbatim to Parker's Returns. They are given on R. 


' I st . What number of persons are by comon Accompt & estima- 
'tion Inhabiting within such (each) Parish subject unto this Juris- 
' diction ? 

<2 dl y. What number of Popish Recusants or persons suspected for 
4 such Recusancy are there Resident amongst the Inhabitants aforesaid ? 

'3 dl y. What number of other Dissenters are there in each Parish (of 
' whatsoever) which either obstinately refuse or wholly absent themselves 
' from the Comunion of the Church of England at such times as by Law 
' they are required ?' 

In the tabulated answers to these Enquiries, Parker simply places at 
the head of each column Q 1 , Q 2 , Q 3 : and Protestant Nonconformists 
are thereby virtually described as Sheldon had described them in his 
questions viz., as 'Dissenters other than Popish Recusants'; an 

Episcopal Returns 14.7 

interesting proof, by the way, that as early as 1676 (not 15 years 
after the passing of the Act of Uniformity) those who did not wholly 
conform to the forms of the Church of England, were already being 
described and generally referred to under the positive term ' Dissenters/ 
as frequently as by the merely negative term * Nonconformists.' 

The opprobrious phrases which follow in Sheldon's Enquiries and 
which constitute so needlessly offensive an equivalent of * Protestant 
* Recusants ' ' which either obstinately refuse, or wholly absent them- 
' selves from the Communion of the Church of England at such times as 
4 by Law they are required ' are not ostentatiously endorsed and put to 
the front by Parker as they are by Ward. Seth Ward uses no such 
respectful word as Dissenters, but he calls them 'Obstinate Separatists' 
or ' Sectaries' : * Obstinate Separatists' in the Heading of his Returns, 
* Sectaries' at the head of his second column. There is a further 
difference between the two most noticeable and, I venture to add, 
quite characteristic. 

Archdeacon Parker appends certain observations which are evidently 
intended as palliative explanations of any increase of Nonconformists 
within his jurisdiction since the Returns presented in 1669. 

Bishop Ward has no apology to offer because he has no such 
increase in his Diocese to attempt to explain away. 

Parker's explanations are very interesting, being given in no less than 
nine particulars. ' Wee finde,' he says, ' these things observable.' They 
are given verbatim on R. 169/>. 

The most notable points are : (i) The retrospective blame cast upon 
the Indulgence of 1672 'Many left the Church upon the late Indul- 
' gence, who before did frequent it ' ; (2) the credit claimed for the issue 
of his Chief's Inquisition : ' The sending forth of these Inquiries has 
' caused many to frequent the Church ' ; (3) the large number of French 
Protestant Refugees, settled in the north-eastern corner of the county 
4 They are Walloons chiefely who make up y e great number of "Dis- 
' " senters " in Cant. Sandwich and Dover ' ; and (4) the light cast upon 
the accepted classification of Dissenters in that day viz.: i. 'A new 
' sort of Hereticks " called after the name of one Muggleton, a London 
'" Taylor, in number about 30,"' 2. Presbyterians, 3. Anabaptists, 
4. Brownists Independents; 5. Quakers (these four 'of about equall 
' numbers ') and a few ' Self-Willers.' The Totals given in Parker's 
Abstract (R. 169 : p. 26) correspond exactly with the line for Canter- 
bury in the 'Religious Census' paper; only the Archdeacon's Total 
population for the Diocese (59,596) is transferred to the Census Abstract 
as the number of Conformists rather a bad slip. 

In Seth Ward's case, however, there is no such mistake. His 
Abstract is given in R. 253 ; and in it the number of Inhabitants is given 
separately as 108,294; while the number of Conformists, 103,671, 
appears correctly in the first column of the Abstract. But there is a 
variance, though only in the way of addition. Seth Ward gives two 
other Totals, besides those of the Papists (correctly transferred to the 
Abstract Census as 548) : namely, 4,623 Dissenters, and 4,075 Separatists. 
Evidently, ' Dissenters ' include Papists as well as Protestant Noncon- 

IO 2 

148 Detailed and Expository 

formists. These latter he calls 'Separatists'; and it is these (4,075) 
who appear in the third column as the number of Nonconformists.* 

The only other documents belonging to this 1676 enquiry, which 
are preserved in Vol. 639, are two Summaries (of totals) ; the one 
from York (R. 297, p. 177) ; and the other from Winton, pp. 147 and 
148 (R. 270). 

During the whole of our period (1662-1676), the Sees in these two 
Dioceses were occupied by the same two prelates. Winchester by 
George Morley (the devoted Royalist), and York by Richard Sterne, 
Bishop of the Diocese and Metropolitan of the Northern Province. 
Morley had been translated from Worcester to Winchester the very 
year which saw the passing of the Act of Uniformity (1662). Though 
stedfast in his loyalty to both King and Church, he was not a very 
eager ecclesiastic, and did not show any very hot persecuting zeal. 

It is singular that in the Winchester Returns this 1676 document 
precedes the 1669 Return, though in the other three cases (as was most 
natural) it follows it. 

* It is this paper which my critic in the Spectator lighted on as the ' one par- 
' ticularly interesting document ' in the whole volume the one, at any rate, on which 
alone he was moved to make any observation. He simply copies the figures of 'the 
' population,' 108,294 ; Dissenters, 4,643 ; Separatists, 4,075 ; and Popish Recusants, 
548 ; and adds the sarcastic observation : ' The figures do not indeed quite tally, but 
' this is the wont of historical figures.' He does not seem to have noticed that the 
total of ' Dissenters ' (4,623) exactly ' tallies ' with the numbers of ' Separatists ' (or 
Protestant Dissenters), 4,075, and Popish Recusants (or Roman Catholic Dis- 
senters), 548, added together; and that the numbers of 'Popish' (548), ' Separatists' 
(4.075), and ' Conformists' (103,671) added together or, if he please to look at it in 
that way of 'Dissenters' (4,623) and 'Conformists' (103,671) added together do 
exactly tally with the numbers of inhabitants (108,294). So that his sarcasm is 
wasted, because pointless. 

There was no need either for his analytic speculation as to what the ' names ' 
stand for in the synopsis given in R. 2526 (pp. 127 and 128). The first column, in 
which the names he comments on are found, is distinctly headed 'Decanatus,' so 
that no intelligent student of the book could fail to see that the numbers given after 
the name Malmesbury on p. 128 are the totals arrived at by adding together the 
figures given in the three columns under the heading ' Decanatus Malmesbury ' on 
pp. 132 and 133; the figures for Malmesbury, 'the town, 1 being given on R. 257 
(p. 133) as yielding oo Popish Recusants, only 05 Separatists, and a total population 
of 2,050. 

The reviewer's further conundrum as to Norton Bradley is not so easily solved : 
' It may be observed that Norton Bradley is given as having 340 Separatists out of 
440 inhabitants. There is nothing like this anywhere else. Is it an error?' I 
venture, however, to submit the following : Is ' Norton Bradley ' a clerical error for 
'North Bradley'? Adams, in his 'Index Villaris,' gives 'Bradley North' as in 
Whorlwelsdown Hundred, and a Vicarage in Pattern Deanery, rated at ii: and, on 
R. 242 (in 1669) Seth Ward reports one Conventicle of Anabaptists meeting 'at a 
' Barne ' ' every Sunday & Wednesday, ' numbering 200 or 300 tradesmen and 
yeomen, and furnished with three or four Teachers. Is it beyond the range of possi- 
bility that the Baptists in North Bradley had grown in the seven years since 1669 
from 300 to 340 ? That this was not an isolated case, moreover, is clear from a pre- 
sentment made as early as 1664, in quite another part of the kingdom. 

The following is the complaint made of Winteringham (in the north-eastern point 
of Lincolnshire) : 

' Thomas Ogle Churchwarden either Refuseth or at Least neglecteth to pay his 
Easter offerings. Not a Quarter of the Parish are present in Service time, and not 
half of them at any time. Holy dayes are despised ; not three of the husbandmen 
ever appear at Church at once ; and but few of the Cottagers, servants, or poorest 
sort. On Sundayes at Eleaven a Clock seldom soe many present as to Chime, and 
sometimes the minister hath been forced to Returne for want of Company, &c.' 

Rpitcopal Returns 149 

Morley follows Ward in using the comparatively mild term 
' Dissenters ' to cover both classes of ' Recusants,' Popish and Protestant, 
and contents himself with calling the latter Separatists. In the Summary 
reproduced in R. 270 (Vol. I., 147), we are confronted with this some- 
what puzzling circumstance. The total number of Separatists given 
for 1676 is exactly the figure reached by adding together all the 
numbers given in the 1669 Returns viz., 7,904 if only we take the 
larger number where alternative numbers are given. [The smaller 
total would be 7,045 ; the larger is exactly 7,904.] The inference I 
was at first inclined to draw was that I was wrong in placing this 
document among the 1676 Returns. It bears no date, and I assigned 
it to 1676, simply because no Summary or Abstract is given of any 
other of the 1669 Returns ; and because its title or heading follows so 
closely the form of the Abstract sent in by Seth Ward, which is 
distinctly dated ' 1676, May loth.' 

This Winton Summary is headed : 

' Winton Dioc. : An Abstract of the Number & Proportion of the 
' Inhabitants, Conformists & Dissenters, in the Diocesse of Winton, etc.' 

And Seth Ward's elaborate 1676 Return is headed : 

' An Account of the Number & Proportions of Popish Recusants, 
'obstinate Separatists Conformists (&) Inhabitants in Wiltshire and 
' Berks under the Jurisdiction Imediate of the Bp of Sarum.' 

Yet in the 'Religious Census of 1676,' abstracted from the Salt 
MS., the total for Winchester under the ' Nonconformists ' column is 
exactly the same viz., 7,904, as are also the number of Inhabitants 
and the number of Popish Recusants the former, I5>937 5 an< ^ 
the latter, 968. 

This, therefore, justifies my 'assignment' of the Summary Account 
to 1676, but makes it evident that there can have been no recount of 
Nonconformists in the seven years' interval between '69 and '76 ; a 
striking sign of George Morley's ecclesiastical slackness, and indication 
that he never responded to Sheldon's last demand at all. 

Only, as in the case of Canterbury, J.R., in his ' Religious Census,' 
transfers the number of ' Inhabitants ' in Morley's Abstract to the 
' Conformist ' column, though Morley gives separately (in the line 
below) the number of Conformists as 142,065. The same mistake, 
too, is carried into his fifth column, which professes to give the 
proportion of Nonconformists to Conformists viz., as one to 19 with 
the remainder of 761. This is what Morley, with stricter accuracy, 
gives as the proportion of Separatists to the whole of the Inhabitants. 
The proportion should have been, as Morley actually gives it in the 
next group of figures, as one to 17, with 7,697 remaining. It invalidates 
the next two columns also, for Papists were to Conformists, not as one 
to 155 with 823 remaining, but only as one to 146 with 737 
remaining ; and both Nonconformists and Papists (or as Morley puts 
it ' All Dissenters ') were to Nonconformists, not as one to 17 with 113 
remaining (which was their proportion to the total population), but as 
one to 1 6 with 113 remaining. 

These divergences show that the Abstract or Religious Census needs 

Detailed and Expository 

to be carefully scrutinized, whenever the figures from other Dioceses 
are forthcoming by which to test it. 

The other document from York is also without a date. But there 
is no question that it belongs to 1676. Its groups of numbers are 
arranged under the three heads of Inhabitants (' Persons ' in the case of 
York City), Popish Recusants, and other Dissenters, which are direct 
replies to Sheldon's three Enquiries of that year. 

It claims to give ' The Number of Persons ' (or Inhabitants), 
'Popish Recusants, and other Dissenters' within the Dioceses and 
' Jurisdiction of Yorke ' ; but is very defective. It does not give a com- 
plete list of the Deaneries within York County (only those of New 
Ainstie, Old Ainstie, Craven, Pontefract and Doncaster), much less all 
of those within the Diocese ; one grave omission being the whole of 
the County of Nottingham, in which Nonconformity was so strong. 

Its figures, too, are far from accurate, as has been pointed out to me 
by a correspondent (Mr. Chas. R. Simpson, of Oxford and Wood- 
brook Settlement, Selly Oak). He draws attention to the figures given 
for the Deanery of Old Ainstie : Inhabitants, 3,444 ; Popish Recusants, 
33; and Dissenters, 228 [not 220]; and comments on them thus : 
'Now Leeds is in this Deanery, and its inhabitants over 16 were 
* 12,000. So that the total (3,444) cannot be correct. On looking at 
c the MSS.' (my correspondent has transcribed the Returns for York- 
shire and Nottinghamshire, which are to be found complete in the 
Tanner MSS. in the Bodleian Library) ' I found how the mistake 
' occurred.' 

The Leeds figures had been put down correctly, but in the wrong 
columns. So that it had been added up as 1,200 instead of as 12,000, 
and the total inhabitants should have been 14,244 instead of 3,444. 

This same correspondent has also given me the totals for the other 
seven Deaneries omitted from the Abstract given on R. 297 : 

Persons over Sixteen. 























Pickering ... 




Buckrose ... 




and the Totals for the whole County come out as 

Inhabitants, 159,160; Popish Recusants, 2,006; and Dissenters, 


It is noteworthy that in the Deanery of New Ainstie the number 
of Papists is more than twice as great as that of Protestant Dissenters, 
and that there is a decided preponderance of a similar character in 
the Deaneries of Bulmer and Cleveland. The most striking fact, from 

Episcopal Returns 151 

our point of view, is the large number of c Dissenters ' returned in the 
Deanery of Harthill viz., 1,666, for it heads the list in all the 
Deaneries of the County, being nearly 400 more than in the Deanery 
of Pontefract, though the total population of the Deanery of Pontefract 
is well on to being three times as great as that of the Deanery of 
Harthill (39,282 as compared with 14,703). 

There is evidently almost endless work to be done in the way of 
testing the numbers given in this Summary, and making it complete, as 
well as making a Summary or Abstract Census for the Province of 
York, similar to that which I found in Vol. 639 (Lambeth Library), 
and have reproduced in this volume. 

I must leave the task to one who has more love for statistics, and a 
larger belief in their value for the purposes of Nonconformist history 
than I possess. 




WE have already pointed out (Part I, chap, ii.) that the Persecution of 
Nonconformists was in no sense the work of Charles II., that by natural 
disposition he was averse to it, and that it was really the work of Parlia- 
ment under the strong lead of the Earl of Clarendon, prompted and 
inspired by Sheldon and the High Anglican party. 

We pointed out at the same time that the Indulgence (of 1672-73) 
was Charles's work first and foremost, even if it were too much to say 
that it was his alone. It is true that Neal ascribes it to the King's 
Council rather than to the King himself; putting it thus (Vol. III., 
p. 177) * The Cabal made the third advance towards Popery and 
4 absolute power, by advising the King to suspend the penal laws against 
4 all sorts of Nonconformists.' I cannot help thinking that in the 
strength of his anti-Papal polemic he credits them with too much. 
Though Clifford and Arlington may have actively seconded the sugges- 
tion of the King, because, as Roman Catholics themselves, they saw in 
it a hopeful means to the larger end of giving the Papacy a freer hand, 
Buckingham, in his easy indifference to all religious considerations, 
was quite ready to humour his Royal master. Lauderdale seemed 
quite willing to pose in England as the champion of the liberties of 
those whom he relentlessly persecuted in Scotland ; and Shaftesbury 
in a most mysterious fashion took a line of singular aloofness in the 
matter throughout the brief period during which it was in force. 

The only explanation at all satisfactory of Ashley's curious conduct 
is that, though of the whole Cabal he was the most convinced believer 
in the liberty of the subject in all that could touch the individual con- 
science, he had so little sympathy with this method of securing it that 
he would do as little as possible that might suggest to anyone that he 
endorsed it. In other words, he had no confidence that a Royal 
Indulgence which really ' flouted ' Acts deliberately passed by the 
representatives of the people could stand its ground, when once the 
nation had discovered the political significance of what the King 
had done. 

So that in the King's determination somewhat suddenly formed at 



\e Indulgence Documents 153 

last to try the effect of Indulgence, which he had promised to Noncon- 
formists again and again ever since his Restoration the Cabal as a 
whole distinctly supported him, although I can find no proof that they 
suggested the experiment, or advised him to try it. 

The persecution of the Nonconformists throughout this period was 
Prelatic and Parliamentary, not Royal; their relief and Indulgence 
for these eleven months was distinctly Royal, not Parliamentary or 

The document itself is more consonant with our contention than 
with Neal's suggestion. In the preamble which expresses so pointedly 
the reason of his taking the step, and the objects he hopes to secure by 
it, he does not even mention his Council. He assumes all the responsi- 
bility, as he claims all the authority, himself: 


4 Our care and endeavours for the preservation of the rights and 
interests of the Church, have been sufficiently manifested to the world 
by the whole course of our government since our happy restauration, and 
by the many and frequent ways of coercion that we have used for 
reducing all erring or dissenting persons, and for composing the unhappy 
differences in matters of religion, which we found among our subjects 
upon our return ; but it being evident by the sad experience of twelve 
years, that there is very little fruit of all those forcible courses, we think 
ourselves obliged to make use of that supreme power in ecclesiastical 
matters, which is not only inherent in us, but hath been declared and 
recognized to be so, by several statutes of parliament ; and therefore we 
do now accordingly issue this our declaration, as well for the quieting 
the minds of our good subjects in these points, for inviting strangers in this 
conjuncture to come and live under us, and for the better encourage- 
ment of all to a cheerful following of their trade and callings, from 
whence we hope, by the blessing of God, to have many good and happy 
advantages to our government ; as also for preventing for the future the 
danger that might otherwise arise from private meetings and seditious 

The retrospective paragraph with which the preamble opens calls the 
world to witness that (however averse to such courses himself) he has 
taken the advice of others, and given a thorough trial of the policy of 
persecution, only to prove its inefficiency. ' It being evident by the sad 
* experience of twelve years that there is very little fruit of all those 
' forcible courses' the * many and frequent ways of coercion ' which 
had been employed in the four Penal Statutes (the Act of Uniformity, 
First Conventicle Act, Five Mile Act, and Second Conventicle Act) ; 
and that so far from benefiting < the Church ' (as by law established) 
these 'forcible courses' have injured it, estranging many from it, who 
before had been willing to frequent its services and make the best of 
them ; and multiplying and strengthening private meetings or * Con- 
venticles ' instead of repressing and ending them. 

Indirectly and implicitly, too, it acknowledges that the policy of 
persecution has created civic resentment and political disquiet ; has 

154 Detailed and Expository 

discouraged * foreigners ' Protestant exiles from other countries who 
would fain have come to England to find rest from the persecution they 
suffered from the Papal Church in their own and has dislocated trade 
and commerce at home, because so many of the foremost tradesmen 
and merchants are Puritan in their faith and sympathy, and so have 
been forced into the ranks of Dissent and Nonconformity. 

An anecdote of the time illustrates the point. < How can I do 
'business with a man to-day,' said one of the Aldermen of London, 
when complaint was made to him that he was not actively c working ' 
the Penal Statutes against Nonconformists, * when I may fine him or 
* clap him in prison to-morrow ?' 

With admirable astuteness, also, Charles recognizes the fact that 
these Nonconformist services will be held whether Parliament recog- 
nizes their legality or pronounces them illegal ; and urges that, if they 
are to be held at all, it is far better to provide that they shall be public, 
like the services of the Established Church. Moreover, services held 
with closed doors, and at the risk of penalties, would be more likely to 
become ' seditious conventicles,' because the worshippers met under the 
sense of injury and injustice. 

Beyond all this, it is clear that the King acted purely in his own 
name in order that the liberty Nonconformists so much desired might 
be had solely as an act of Royal favour, and if accepted might bind the 
recipients by personal loyalty to him, and constrain them to the accept- 
ance of his policy both at home and abroad. Incidentally, too, great 
light is here thrown on the anxiety he had shown to have the clause 
declaring the Royal Supremacy in matters ecclesiastical made part and 
parcel of the recent Act (the Second Conventicle Act). Although at 
the time he disavowed any intention to interfere with the course that 
Parliament was taking, there can be little question that even then he 
was contemplating the course planned in this Declaration which he 
published only two years later. 

That the Indulgence was thus to be viewed as the personal action 
of the King rather than as his Royal endorsement of the action of the 
Cabal is also the view of the High Anglican CardwelL* 

* In commenting on ' the Declaration of Indulgence ' in his ' Documentary 
Annals ' (Vol. II., pp. 282-284), he expresses his own view as follows : 

' Lord Clarendon having gone into banishment at the end of the year 1667, and 
his administration being succeeded by that of the Cabal, the King was now at liberty 
to pursue his own projects, not only without restraint, but even with the aid of coun- 
sellors more fertile in expedient and more regardless about consequences than he 
himself was. And this was the darkest and most intricate period of a reign which 
may justly be called throughout the greater portion of it " the mystery of iniquity." 
Within the compass of a few years the King resolved to be independent of parlia- 
ments, entered into a war to which the nation generally was averse, declared his 
treasury insolvent, united himself with France, and became the pensioner of the 
French monarch, formed a secret compact to surrender the liberties and religion of 
his own kingdoms, and issued a Declaration which directly dispensed with the ob- 
servance of the law, and indirectly claimed the exercise of absolute power. The 
Declaration issued on the isth day of March, 1672, is an instance, among many, of 
the dishonest and tortuous policy by which the King endeavoured to accomplish his 
purposes. It seems to have been intended for the benefit of the non-conformists : it 
was really designed to relieve the Romanists. For the former he felt as much com- 
passion as could belong to a temper easy and indulgent by nature, but rendered hard 

The Indulgence Documents 155 

Passing from the preamble to the several paragraphs of the Declara- 
tion, we find the first dictated by the desire to keep the prelates quiet, 
with their clergy and the Church party among the laity, by profuse 
promises and assurances, just as the offer of liberty was intended to quiet 
and secure the loyalty of the Nonconformists. It reads : 

4 And in the first place, we declare our express resolution, meaning 
and intention to be, that the Church of England be preserved, and 
remain entire in its doctrine, discipline, and government, as now it 
stands established by law ; and that this be taken to be, as it is, the 
basis, rule and standard, of the general and public worship of God, and 
that the orthodox conformable clergy do receive and enjoy the revenues 
belonging thereunto ; and that no person, though of a different opinion 
and persuasion, shall be exempt from paying his tithes or other dues 
whatsoever. And further we declare, that no person shall be capable of 
holding any benefice, living, or ecclesiastical dignity or preferment of 
any kind in this our Kingdom of England, who is not exactly 

There is the quiet assumption throughout it, suggested by a shrewd 
observation of human nature, that if the emoluments, privileges, and 
dignities of the Establishment are secured to the < orthodox ' and ' con- 
4 formable ' there will be the less inclination to resent the liberty accorded 
to the c unorthodox ' and ' nonconformist.' Though facts were not long 
in discovering to the King that Prelates and Conformists were not so 

and reckless by profligate and irreligious habits ; and as for his advisers, they had 
no sympathy except for atheists and Romanists, and would naturally treat with con- 
tempt a class of men who looked upon their principles with abhorrence. Neverthe- 
less it was only by conciliating or by bribing the Nonconformists that he could hope 
to obtain more favourable conditions for the Romanists ; and to this object he was 
so far pledged that he incurred the greatest hazard, and had recourse to the most 
unconstitutional methods in order to accomplish it. 

'The parliament which had been prorogued since the 22nd day of April, 1671, 
was at last allowed to assemble on the i5th of February, 1673, and was addressed by 
the King with reference to his Declaration in the following manner: "Some few 
days before I declared the war I put forth my Declaration for indulgence to dis- 
senters. . . . There is one part of it that is subject to misconstruction, which is 
that concerning the papists, as if more liberty were granted to them than to the other 
recusants, when it is plain there is less. ... In the whole course of this indulgence 
I do not intend that it shall any way prejudice the Church ; but I will support its 
rights, and it, in full power. Having said this, I shall take it, very, very ill to 
receive contradiction in what I have done : and I will deal plainly with you. I am 
resolved to stick to my Declaration. ' ' Nevertheless the Commons proceeded to vote 
that " penal statutes in matters ecclesiastical cannot be suspended but by an act of 
parliament," and as stated in reply to the King's defence of his proceedings, " that 
no such power was ever claimed or exercised by any of his predecessors." They 
shewed at the same time a rea liness to grant relief to protestant dissenters, but a 
determination to oppose themselves to the additional dangers arising from the duke's 
open adoption of popery, and the King's secret attachment to it. 

' It is now known from the Stuart papers (" Life of James II.," Vol. I., p. 442) 
that the King had decided in the year 1669 to bring in the Romish faith, and had 
arranged with his brother to "go about it as wise men and good catholics ought to 
do." The Test Act was passed in the session 1678, and the country party, to which 
the nation was afterwards so much indebted, was established at the same period. 
The King assured the two houses that his suspension of penal laws " should not be 
drawn either into consequence or example," and the lord Chancellor (Shaftsbury) 
stated with his majesty's permission, that the Declaration under the great Seal had 
been cancelled in his presence.' 

156 Detailed and Expository 

easily ' quieted ' and soothed into acquiescence, as were the Noncon- 
formists and Dissenters. 

In the next paragraph we have the more negative part of the 
Declaration, a necessary preliminary in order to clear the ground for its 
more positive part : 

4 We do in the next place declare our will and pleasure to be, that 
the execution of all and all manner of penal laws in matters eccle- 
siastical, against whatsoever sort of non-conformists or recusants, be 
immediately suspended. And all judges, judges of assize and gaol- 
delivery, sheriffs, justices of peace, mayors, bailiffs, and other officers 
whatsoever, whether ecclesiastical or civil, are to take notice of it, and 
pay due obedience thereunto.' 

This no doubt is the part of the Declaration which created in all 
Parliamentarians the greatest concern, and not alone the Prelates and 
the High Church Party. The fabric of Penal Legislation which it had 
taken ten years to build up is shattered into fragments at the touch of 
the King's hand. Had the Declaration ended here, the view which has 
often been taken of it would have been true. By the suspension of all 
Penal Statutes, it might seem to proclaim to all and sundry absolute 
liberty to worship God and to teach or preach, after any form which 
conscience might dictate, and in any place which fancy or convenience 
might suggest. Even J. R. Green, whom usually it is safe to follow, 
uses phraseology which would produce that impression on the incautious 
reader. In alluding to the Declaration of Indulgence, he says (p. 626) : 
* By virtue of his ecclesiastical powers the King ordered " that all 
' " manner of penal laws on matters ecclesiastical against whatsoever 
c " sort of Nonconformists or recusants should be from that day sus- 
4 " pended," and gave liberty of worship to all dissidents save Catholics, 
c who were allowed to practise their religion only in private houses.' 

Evelyn, also a contemporary (and generally a discriminating ob- 
server), makes the same mistake. In his 'Diary' (under date Mar. I, 
167^) he writes: 'To this succeeded the King's declaration for an 
4 universall tolleration, Papists and swarms of Sectaries now boldly 
' showing themselves in their publiq meetings.' 

So to put the matter is a grave mistake. The two following para- 
graphs show that the King intended, and provided, that c dissidents ' 
were to have no more liberty than before to worship in any fashion 
other than that prescribed by the Common Prayer Book or in any place 
other than the Parish Church, except by express Royal permission, 
authority, or licence. 

The very next paragraph puts it positively that he, the King, is 
willing to 'allow ' (/.*., license) a sufficient number of places in all parts 
of England for those who desire it of him (among those * who do not 
4 conform to the Church of England ') ; and the second paragraph puts 
it negatively that only in places that are * allowed,' and by c persons ' 
directly ' approved ' by the King that is, by licences issued in his name 
to the owner of the place and to the teacher or preacher who conducts 
the service can ' nonconformist ' worship be permitted at all ; while 
the last paragraph puts the matter very plainly utterly precluding the 

The Indulgence Documents 157 

construction so unguardedly put upon it by J. R. Green and J. Evelyn 
that any one presuming to abuse this liberty, and to act after the lax 
fashion suggested by the language of these writers, by meeting in any 
place for which a Royal licence has not been issued, shall be dealt with 
' with all imaginable severity.' 

The paragraph inserted between the two former and the last was 
intended as a farther ' sop ' to the Protestant prelacy (inserted no doubt 
by the urgent pressure of Lauderdale, expressly restricting the liberty 
here offered to Protestants. No licences for public worship were to be 
granted to Roman Catholics. They were to be allowed only but 
this they were allowed as both Protestant and Papist had been allowed 
hitherto to gather for worship ' in their private houses ' if there were 
not more than four present over and above the members of the household 
resident therein. 

Here are the four paragraphs in the order in which they stand in the 
actual document : 

'And that there may be no pretence for any of our subjects to 
continue their illegal meetings and conventicles, we do declare, that we 
shall from time to time allow a sufficient number of places, as they shall 
be desired, in all parts of this our Kingdom, for the use of such as do 
jiot conform to the Church of England, to meet and assemble in in order 
to their public worship and devotion ; which places shall be open and 
free to all persons. 

4 But to prevent such disorders and inconveniences as may happen by 
this our indulgence, if not duly regulated, and that they may be the 
better protected by the civil magistrate, our express will and pleasure 
is, that none of our subjects do presume to meet in any place, until such 
places are allowed, and the teacher of that congregation be approved 
by us. 

'And lest any should apprehend that this restriction should make 
our said allowance and approbation difficult to be obtained, we do 
further declare, that this our indulgence, as to the allowance of the 
public places of worship, and approbation of the teachers, shall extend 
to all sorts of non-conformists and recusants, except the recusants of the 
Roman Catholic religion, to whom we shall in nowise allow public 
places of worship, but only indulge them their share in the common 
exemption from the penal laws, and the exercise of their worship in 
their private houses only. 

' And if, after this our clemency and indulgence, any of our subjects 
shall pretend to abuse this liberty, and shall preach seditiously, or to the 
derogation of the doctrine, discipline, or government, of the established 
Church, or shall meet in places not allowed by us, we do hereby give 
them warning, and declare, we will proceed against them with all 
imaginable severity ; and we will let them see we can be as severe to 
punish such offenders when so justly provoked, as we are indulgent to 
truly tender consciences. 

< Given at our court at Whitehall, this 1 5th day of March, in 
the four and twentieth year of our reign.' 

So that so far from giving < liberty of worship to all dissidents,' the 

158 Detailed and Expository 

number of places in which dissidents might worship was limited to what 
were sufficient for those nonconformists who desired it limited, too, by 
the absolute discretion or arbitrary decision of the King (and his imme- 
diate advisers). For evidently what was a 'sufficient ' number of places 
in any one parish or district, was to be determined not by the Noncon- 
formists in it but by the King. 

The determination, too, of what ' places ' should be ' allowed/ and 
what ' teachers ' should be ' approved ' lay wholly with him. He 
reserved it as a matter solely within his own discretion to decide whether 
any particular building should or should not be a ' place ' ' allowed ' for 
Nonconformist worship ; quite as absolutely, indeed, as to whether any 
particular person were ' fit and proper,' safe and salutary to 4 approve ' as 
' teacher ' in these licensed places. 

It is true that by the terms of the Declaration the methods by which 
this Indulgence was to be administered were left entirely open. It would 
have been quite consistent with the Declaration had the King made it a 
matter in which the initiative was to be taken only by himself, as it is 
in the case of the grant of any title or order, as a Royal recognition of 
special merit in the subject or of special affection or favour in the Prince. 
From the first, however, it is clear that he intended the initiative to be 
taken by his Nonconformist subjects ; for speaking of * the sufficient 
' number of places ' which he was prepared to allow, he uses the phrase 
4 as they shall be desired,' suggesting that the normal lines along which 
he wished to act were those of an expressed ' desire ' on the part of the 
Nonconformist ministers and inhabitants in any parish, town, or district. 
It is plain, in fact, that the King purposed awaiting the expression of 
such desire before he would move at all. 

Wherever no ' desire ' for ' allowance ' or ' approval ' was expressed 
and brought before his notice, public ' worship,' by Nonconformists in 
forms other than those prescribed by the Common Prayer Book or in 
any other ' place ' than the Parish Church remained as illegal as it 
was before ; though, by the terms of the third clause of the Declaration, 
active persecution of Nonconformists by Penal Statute would have 
automatically ceased ; and such worship, in itself, and in a sense (that 
is, under certain prescribed conditions), was not illegal as it was before. 

One important thing to realize, then, if we would understand the 
spirit and methods of the Indulgence, is that the liberty offered by it, 
wherever, and by whomsoever it was secured, was secured a? an act of 
grace and favour shown by the King in person to the individual subject 
or subjects to whom his licences were given. 

In no sense was a new legal ' status ' conferred on Nonconformists 
as such. It was simply that to the Nonconformists who applied for a 
licence, the licence was granted when the applicant was considered a fit 
and proper person to receive it, as a personal favour from the King. 
And the acceptance of it naturally bound the recipient, if only by 
the ties of ordinary gratitude, to a more than ordinary loyalty and 

There is no doubt, indeed, that this was the main object of the 
Declaration. It was no sudden discovery of the harshness and injustice, 

The Indulgence Documents 159 

or even of the practical inutility, of persecution by Penal Statute that 
moved the King. It was that Nonconformists (especially in London 
and its suburbs) were growing restive under this bitter and spiteful 
persecution. The political situation was critical. Charles had made up 
his mind to declare war against the Dutch, as part of the policy adopted 
by him in 1670 in the disgraceful Treaty of Dover. He knew well that 
the Nonconformists had a friendly feeling towards them ; because, of 
all the Continental powers, the Dutch were the one nation which in 
their zealous Protestantism had always showed the Nonconformists the 
greatest practical sympathy, and had always been readiest to give them 
friendly asylum when driven into exile by the persecuting Anglican. 

And he foresaw very clearly that declaration of war against the 
Dutch might increase the disaffection of Nonconformists, and tempt 
them to courses which might create serious danger of internal weakness. 
So that Charles's hope and definite purpose were that if only they would 
accept his Indulgence, they would feel bound to abstain from any 
courses which would harass him in his home measures, or weaken his 
policy abroad. These circumstances necessarily determined the centre 
from which, and the mode in which, the Royal Indulgence was worked. 

As the licences were granted by the King in person, and by the 
King alone, they had of course to be issued from the Royal Court ; and 
being given only in response to an express desire duly notified to the 
Court by the would-be licensee, the whole business of the Indulgence 
was bound to be transacted from a single local centre, where alone 
applications for licences could be received, and whence alone the 
licences which were granted could be issued. That centre was 

The bearing of this, however, upon the Licence documents which 
are here published, is so multifarious, interesting, and significant that the 
consideration of it must be relegated to a separate chapter. 


Frank Bate, in his recently published work on ' The Declaration of 
'Indulgence, 1672' (chap, v., pp. 79-80), clearly gives us all that can be 
known of the events which by such rapid strides led to the actual issue of the 
Declaration. He gives the main particulars furnished by Sir Joseph William- 
son's Diary, including a list of the members of Council who were present at 
the final meeting, who gave a unanimous adhesion to the scheme. He thus 
shows that those jointly responsible for it were: (i) the King, his brother 
the Duke of York, and his son the Duke of Monmouth ; (2) all five members 
of the Cabal ; (3) Earls Craven and Holies (both of whom, we shall see, 
used their personal influence to secure licences for ministers they knew), the 
Earls of Bath, Bridgewater, and Anglesey ; as well as (4) Secretary Trevor, 
Lord Newport, Sir John Duncomb, the Vice-Chamberlain, and the Master 
of Ordnance. He is inclined, too, to credit Clifford and Shaftesbury with 
being the main movers in the matter, though Bucks and Arlington heartily 
agreed, and Lauderdale did not oppose. 

160 Detailed and Expository 



SOME of the documents contained in 320 show very clearly, though 
indirectly, that a great deal of work was needed outside the Council, and 
special Committee Meetings, before the Indulgence declared on March I $ 
could be brought into working order. They show, too, that the two 
men who did most of this unofficial but highly practical work, were men 
hitherto practically * nullities ' to the sober English historian. Indeed, 
the one who did almost all is so little known that the < Dictionary of 
National Biography' has not even admitted his name into its voluminous 
pages I mean Dr. Nicholas Butler. The other, Colonel Thomas 
Blood, is known well enough ; but only for his deeds of lawless daring, 
so that he has been almost uniformly treated as a ' mere highwayman,' 
after the type of Dick Turpin, or as a wild revolutionary, to be held by 
all sober citizens as deserving only opprobrium and contempt. To 
place them before the student of this period with something like historic 
fairness and accuracy of detail, has not been an easy task. The first 
had to be recovered from scattered allusions in contemporary docu- 
ments, which show him to have been a man of singular abilities and of 
very mixed character, presenting a psychologic problem not easy to 
solve. And the second original research has shown to be possessed of 
aims and ideals which were largely lofty and unselfish, and leads the 
candid student to regard him as a Reformer spoiled in the making, a 
knight errant of civil and religious liberty, by ruthless oppression turned 
into an Ishmael, until an erratic outburst of Royal favour restored him 
to his more natural role of a protector of the weak and a champion of 
the oppressed. 

It appears that quite recently an American writer along independent 
lines, and without any correspondence with the Editor, has arrived at 
conclusions remarkably similar: so that there is some hope that Thomas 
Blood may be reinstated in his rightful place in history, and his character 
be vindicated from the aspersions which have wellnigh destroyed it. 

I proceed, therefore, in each case first to sketch the man's career, 
and then (from these documents), to point out the part he took in this 
important task of giving the Indulgence practical efficiency and smooth 


The ' D r Butler ' of these Indulgence Documents up to the age of 
forty-two was plain Mr. Butler, or 'Nicholas Butler Gent.' From 
June 17, 1671, to September 30, 1680, he was M.D. of Cambridge, and 
so ' D r Butler.' From September 30, 1680, he was Fellow of the Royal 
College of Physicians; and from March, i68j, he was Sir Nicholas 

The Indulgence Documents 161 

Butler Kn l . He was born in 1626 or 1627.* Of his parentage and 
place of birth, I have as yet no certain knowledge. 

But on June 9, 1616, a Nicholas Butler was married at St. Vedast's, 
in Foster Lane, to Margarett Ellett (Harleian Society's Reprint of 
Register of St. Vedast's). Quite possibly this was our Nicholas Butler's 
father. In which case our Nicholas will have been born twelve 
years after their wedding, and was probably a native of the City of 

Twelve years after that, again, in other words, when our Nicholas 
was twelve years old, a Nicholas Butler is registered (Foster's * Marriage 
4 Licences ') as licensed to marry Margarett Jones, of the * Citty of West- 
' minster.' Was that the second marriage of our Nicholas's father and 
namesake ? 

Twelve years later, again, he says of himself, that ' he was in a 
'manner wholly taken off thoughts of self.' If that is a sincere piece 
of his personal history it would mean that in 1652, when he was 
twenty-four years of age, he was practically c converted.' 

Was this (i) by the influence of Arthur Barham, who began his 
ministry at St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, about this time, having been pre- 
sented to the living by Sir John Langham ? It may have been, if 
he was then living where we know he was living some ten years later, 
viz., in Little St. Helen's, Bishopsgate. Or was it (2) on his marriage 
to ' Dorothy,' who after a few years proved faithless, so that our Nicholas 
Butler sought and obtained divorce from her 'causa adulterii'Pf 

One thing is clear that in the Commonwealth period, probably 
some time between 1650 (when he would have attained twenty-two 
years of age) and 1658 or 1659, he was married to a lady whose Christian 
name was Dorothy, but whose maiden surname is yet to be dis- 

Another thing is plain also from the terms of the Petition he 
addressed to the King in 1672, viz., that about the year 1660 he was 
divorced from this wife, Dorothy. \ 

So far our information about c Nicholas Butler Gent. ' is very frag- 
mentary, and much of it nebulous and conjectural. From the year 
1664 onwards, however, we begin to deal with facts which have 
definite documentary attestation. 

In this year he received from Archbishop Sheldon a licence to 
practise the art of medicine. By the courtesy of Mr. Jenkins, Librarian 
of Lambeth Palace Library, I have secured a transcript of this Licence 
as contained in Sheldon's Register, fol. 2Q2a, 

* See his letter to Sir Joseph Williamson, written March 19, 1671-72, in which 
he says (though indirectly) that he was forty-four years of age. The sentence is : 
' Since I was 24 years, which now is 20 moe [more], I have beene in a manner wholly 
' taken off thoughts of selfe, etc.' (S.P. Dom. Car. II., 304, 47). His epitaph allows 
of any date between June 8, 7626, and June 7, 1627. 

t Vide his Petition to the King for pardon for having ' married again, ' sent in 
December, 1672. 

Its preamble reads : ' The humble Petition of Nicholas Butler, Doctor in Physic 
' Humbly Sheweth That your Petitioner having immediately after Your Ma ties Res- 
1 tauration sued out a Divorce causa adulterii against Dorothy Butler his then 
' wife, &c.' 


1 62 Detailed and Expository 

[Licence to Nicholas Butler.^ 

The following is a literal translation of the Latin original : 

'On the 8th of October A.D. 1664 (through the same venerable 
personage) [/.*., Sir* Richard Chaworth, Knight, Doctor of" Laws, 
Vicar-General in "spirituals"] a Licence was granted to Nicholas 
Butler " professor in medicine " to practise the art of medicine, he 
having first subscribed the three articles mentioned in the Canon, and 
after this method : viz 1 the first and third articles without qualification, 
and of the second article the two former members of the same ; the oath 
of the Supremacy of the King's Majesty having also been taken by him ; 
the licence to last during his (the King's) good pleasure.'f 

The * three articles ' are the articles first promulgated by Whitgift 
and revived by Bancroft when he drew up the Book of Canons (141 in 
number), which were passed by both Houses of Convocation and ratified 
by the King's letters patent under his great seal in 1603 (i James I.), 
which every one had to subscribe, before he could receive office by 
authority of the Bishops or Archbishops of the Church of England i.e., 
before any clergyman could be ordained to the ministry, any person could 
be licensed to teach school or to practise ' physick.' But the second 
c member ' of the second article, by its nature can apply only to clergy in 
their public ministry as teachers and preachers. 

'The three articles * are as follows (Neal's ' History of the Puritans,' 
Vol. L, p. 414) : 

4 (i) That the King's majesty is the supreme head and governor of 
this realm, as well in all spiritual and ecclesiastical, as temporal causes ; 
(2) that the Book of Common Prayer &c. contains nothing contrary to 
the word of God, and that he will use it and no other ; (3) that he 
alloweth the thirty-nine articles of 1562, to be all and everyone of them 
agreeable to the word of God.' 

The thing to note specially in connection with this licence to practise 
physick is that by applying for it and accepting it from the Archbishop, 
and by signing those three articles, Nicholas Butler declared himself a 
faithful and conformable member of the Church of England, as by law 
established ; and negatively it is proved incontestably that he was not, at 
this time at any rate, a Nonconformist, whether Protestant (as a 
Puritan) or Papist (as a Roman Catholic Recusant). 

What we do not (as yet) know, is how and where he ' qualified ' so 
as to become a ' professor in medicine.' 

On May 4, 1665, we find that Margaret, daughter of Nicholas 
Butler, was buried in St. Paul's, Covent Garden. Margaret was the 
Christian name of the second wife of Nicholas Butler sen r . So that this 
Margaret was probably a sister of our Nicholas Butler. 

* Richard Chaworth of Richmond, Surrey, was knighted at Whitehall, Dec. 18, 1663. 

t The Latin text is as follows : ' Octavo die mensis Octobris Anno Dni 1664 per 
eundem venerabilem virum concessa fuit Licentia Nicholao Butler in medicinis pro- 
fessori ad practicand artem medicinae subscriptis prius per eum tribus articulis in 
Canone menconatis et in hunc modum viz* primo et tertio articulis integris et secundi 
articuli duobus prioribus membris proestitoque per eum juramento supremitatis 
Regiae Majestatis et ad beneplacitum duratur.' (The 'venerabilis vir ' is ' dominus 
Richardus Chaworth miles legum Doctor, Vicarius in spiritualibus generalis.') 

The Indulgence Documents 163 

This is the year, of course, in which London was visited by the 
Great Plague. Margaret Butler may have been one of its earliest victims ; 
though its presence in the city was not positively recognized till the end 
of June or the beginning of July. When its presence was recognized, 
however, Nicholas Butler behaved with signal courage and benevolence. 
He was one of the few qualified doctors who stayed in the plague-stricken 
city all through this awful visitation, risking his own life to save that of his 
panic-stricken fellow-citizens. What Dr. Chippendale says in his book- 
let, entitled ' A Medical Roll of Honour : Physicians and Surgeons who 
< remained in London during the Great Plague,' is worth quotation : 

* When the Great Plague of 1665 occurred in London there was a 
general stampede of all who could leave the City. The exodus included 
those to whom the distressed inhabitants naturally turned for help, 
namely, the clergy and the doctors; and the panic-stricken inhabitants 
were left largely in the hands of irregular practitioners in both profes- 
sions.' [A curious description, by the way, of Nonconformist ministers !] 
* The medical refugees included men of high reputation and great 
wealth, among them one at least whose name is a household word in the 
annals of medicine. All the officers of the College of Physicians, led by 
their President, fled ; to find, on their return, that their college had been 
broken into and the college coffers emptied. How many medical men 
remained at their posts is not accurately known. There were not many. 
Apparently not more than twenty-five. Not a large number to minister 
to the medical needs of a population estimated at 240,000 and in a time 
of pestilence. No list has been preserved of this small band of heroes. 
A study of contemporary literature, however, and an examination of 
valuable MSS. in the Guildhall Library, most kindly transcribed by 
M r Edward M. Borrajo, the City Librarian, has enabled the compilation 
of the following list, which, however, cannot pretend to be more than 
an approach to completeness : 

4 1. Physicians. (i) Allen Thomas, M.D. ; (2) D r Thomas 
Wharton ; (3) Sir Thomas Witherley ; (4) D r Nicholas Davy ; 
(5) D r Edward Deantry. 

'II. Surgeons. (i) John Fife; (2) Thomas Gray; (3) Edward 
Hannam ; (4) Edward Higgs.' 

Nicholas Butler is one whose name should appear upon this honour- 
able roll, for he not only remained throughout the Plague to give his 
medical help to those who so sorely needed it, on the ordinary terms of 
remuneration then current for those who were licensed (as properly 
qualified) to practise the art of medicine; but he gave his services 
gratis, and not only prescribed, but dispensed and distributed medicines, 
to many hundreds daily of those too poor to pay him any fee what- 
ever. This we know on the testimony of many citizens, who were 
qualified by personal knowledge of him and his work to certify the 
facts, as well as on the personal certificate of the Mayor of the City of 
London in that year. These citizens were all parishioners of St. Helen's, 
Bishopsgate, where we know Nicholas Butler himself was residing some 
four or five years later, and where he was probably residing in this 
fateful year, 1665. 

The part the Mayor himself played, too, was so simply heroic that 

1 64 Detailed and Expository 

it deserves special record, and is of" peculiar interest to us, as qualifying 
him to give first-hand testimony to Nicholas Butler's work at this time. 
Cox (' Annals of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate,' p. 324), says of him : ' Sir 
' John Lawrence kept his Mayoralty at his house in Great St. Helen's, 
' and continued in the Metropolis during the whole of the time of the 
' Great Plague. He sat constantly as a magistrate, heard complaints and 
'redressed them, enforced the wisest regulations then known respecting 

* the prevention of the pestilent contagion, and saw them executed him- 
4 self; appointed physicians and surgeons for the relief of the diseased 
' poor ; and particularly requested the College of Physicians to publish 

* directions for chief remedies for the poor in all circumstances of the dis- 

* temper. This was done by a consultation of the whole College, and 
4 copies given gratis to all who desired it. The day after the disease was 

* known with certainty to be the plague, above 40,000 servants were dis- 
' missed and turned into the streets to perish ; for no one would receive 
' them into their houses, and the villages near London drove them away 
4 with pitchforks and firearms. Sir John Lawrence supported them all, 
' as well as the needy who were sick, at first by expending his own fortune 
' till subscriptions could be solicited and received from all parts of the 
' nation.' 

It is he (Sir John Lawrence), who gives the weight of his high 
authority to the testimony of seven citizens of London (three of whom 
lived in St. Helen's parish), concerning the skilled and gratuitous 
services of Nicholas Butler. 

That testimony is preserved in the Public Record Office as S. P. Dom. 
Car. II. 273, 66 I., and reads as follows : 

'Wee whose names are subscribed Inhabitants of the Citty of 
London, doe hereby Certifie, That Nicholas Butler, gentleman, prac- 
ticoner in physick, did reside in the parish of St. Helen's London in the 
year 1665 all the tyme of the visitation ; when almost all other Physicians 
retired into the Countrey : And, during that great mortality, did admit 
a free access of all sorts of persons to him, both for themselves and 
others sick of the plague ; to whom he did freely administer physick & 
medicines without receiving any reward or compensation for the same. 
By which meanes, we doe upon credible grounds believe that great 
numbers of people were restored & recovered from that dangerous 

'Dated i8 th February, 1669. 
[Autograph signatures] : 




And immediately following is the certificate of the Lord Mayor : 

' I doe Certifie that in the year 1665 being the tyme of my Mayoralty, 
the matters above certified were then reported and affirmed to me for 

The Indulgence Documents 165 

truth by some of the persons above named ; to whom I then did, and 
still doe give full credit. 

* Feb. the 21 st , 1669. 


The first three and the fifth of the signatories, we know, were 
resident in the parish of St. Helen's as well as Sir John Lawrence him- 
self. As above hinted (by Cox), the last resided in a mansion within 
Great St. Helen's, which was built under the supervision of Inigo Jones, 
the front of which remains to the present day much the same as during 
his Mayoralty. 

Henry Whittingham, who died 1673, remembered his poorer fellow- 
parishioners in his will in these terms : ' I give and bequeathe unto the 

* poor of the parish of St. Helen's where I do dwell & have long lived 

* the sum of 25 &c.' 

James Allen was a native of the parish, who (as the Parish Register 
testifies) was baptized in St. Helen's Church in 1689,38 'son of Richard 
' Allen, Merchant Taylor, and Jane his wife.' His first marriage (to 
Mary) must have been celebrated elsewhere, but the baptism of his 
eldest son is recorded in the Parish Register in 1644, as 'James Allen, 
'son of James Allen (haberdasher) & Mary his wife.' His marriage to 
his second wife was celebrated in St. Helen's in 1657, anc ^ ^ s recorded 
in this unusual form : 

'James Allen of St. Helen's widower and Joan Barker widow, pub- 
'lished in the Leadenhall Market II, 14, and 16 . . . married by 
' M r Barham our minister.' 

He continued to live in the parish till his death, which took place 
December, 1682, and he was buried in the churchyard. The burial is 
entered in the Parish Register, 1682, December 4 : ' James Allen in the 
' Churchyard on the North side of M r Pember's tomb.' 

Thomas Aldworth is referred to in the Parish Records as Deputy 
Thomas Aldworth, inhabited a leasehold house in St. Helen's parish, 
and died in 1670 or 1671 ; as we find ' M rs Aldworth, widow of Deputy 
' Aldworth, asking a renewal of her husband's lease for life' in 1671. 
In the Parish Register he is described as ' Thomas Aldworth plumber,' 
one son being buried in 1656, and another who survived him being 
buried in 1681 'by his father.' 

Of Benjamin Albyn there are two mentions in the Parish Register : 
one of the burial in 1661 of ' M r Albyn's child,' 'by the pew doore'; 

* We have collateral information, showing the respectability of three of the 
above-named in a Hearth Roll for London for 1663 (Hf)- In Bishopsgate Ward : 


s. d. 
' S r John Lawrence ... ... ... 26 ... 3 18 o 

' Henry Whittingham ... ... ... 14 ...220 

1 Thomas Aldworth ... ... ... 8 ... i 4 o' 

A house rated on 26 Hearths must have been ' a noble mansion ' ; one like Henry 
Whittingham's, rated on 14, was a ' mansion-house ' ; and one like Thomas Aid- 
worth's, with 8, was a ' goodly dwelling-house.' 

1 66 Detailed and Expository 

and the other of the burial of Mr. Albyn himself, on May 27, 1676, 
* Beniamin Albin in M r Kerwin's Vault.' 

Jacob Gosselin, I learn from Rev. A. Gordon, was a clergyman who 
distinguished himself as one of the prosecutors of Reeve and Muggleton 
for blasphemy. 

Supported by the testimony of such respectable and responsible 
citizens, we may then accept as true his own account, contained in the 
preamble of a Petition he presented to the King in this same year, 1669 
(towards its close*), which reads as follows : 

To the King's most Excell' Ma tie . 

'The humble Petition of Nicholas Butler Gent 
' Sheweth 

' That your Pet r hath been for divers yeares a practitioner of Physick 
licenced thereunto by y e Lord Arch-BPP of Canterbury. That all along 
y e time of ye late dreadfull Pestilence he constantly kept his abode in y e 
Citty of London, and (beside other patients of better quality) for some 
Months together gave Physick gratis, to betwixt two and three hundred 
of y e meaner sort in a day, very few (God so blessed his Endeavours) 
Miscarrying under his hands as by the annexed Certificate may more 
fully appeared 

It is natural to suppose that at this time he would form the acquaint- 
ance and even the friendship of several of the Nonconformist ministers 
resident in London. For the regular clergy acted as did the qualified 
physicians and surgeons, and the < irregular practitioners ' heroically 
stepped in to take their place and supply their lack of spiritual service. 
In the striking words of Cox (' Annals of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate ') : 

4 Under these dreadful circumstances the citizens were deserted by 
their parochial ministers : but the Nonconformist ministers, considering 
it their indispensable duty, though contrary to law, repaired to the 
deserted pulpits, where the ministers were often compelled to clamber 
over the pews to get at the pulpits.' 

The following were notable among this noble band Mr. Thomas 
Vincent (ejected from Milk Street) ; John Jackson (of St. Benet's, Paul's 
Wharf) ; Mr. John Chester, who had been driven from Witherley, in 
Leicestershire, and was living in Southwark ; young James Janeway, of 
Rotherhithe ; Robert Franklyn (from Westhall, Suffolk) ; John Turner 
(now living in Fetter Lane, who had come into the City from Sunbury, 
in Middlesex) ; and Mr. Grimes, whose true name was Robert 
Chambers, who had been associated with Blood in his attempt upon the 
Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland and Dublin Castle, and had adopted the 
alias of Grimes to shelter him in his retreat to the City of London. 

Of the four years following this spell of special and self-denying 
work amongst the plague- stricken, we have no special information. He 
was residing in Little St. Helen's . and pursuing his profession as a 
4 practitioner in physick.' But he is not satisfied with the emoluments 

* Preserved in the Record Office as S.P. Dom. Car. II. 273, 66, and described in 
the side-fold as ' The Peticon of Nicholas Butler, Gent/ 

The Indulgence Documents 167 

of an ordinary 'practitioner,' and towards the close of 1669 or tne 
beginning of 1670 (N. S.), he petitions the King for the Degree of 
M.D. by Royal Letters, in recognition of his special services at the time 
of the plague. The preamble of that petition and the certificates which 
accompanied I have already cited verbatim. The petition proper 
reads as follows : 

' The premisses consider'd the Pet r humbly prayes your Ma tie will 
be pleas'd in token of your Ma ties gracious acceptance of that his Service, 
and as a marke of yo r princely favour to Hono r him with your Mandamus 
to y e Universitie of Cambridge for y e Degree of Doctor in Physick. 
And your Pet r (as in Duty bound) shall ever pray &c.' 

Nicholas Butler must have had some ' friend ' at Court, and, judging 
by subsequent events, we should imagine that it must have been Joseph 
Williamson, right-hand man of Sir Harry Bennett, who had just been 
made Lord Arlington, and member of the inner Ministry or Cabal. 
The strings are pulled successfully by his friends, and on March 15, 
1669-70, a Royal Letter is sent by Arlington to the V ice-Chancellor of 
Cambridge. It is preserved in S. P. Dom. E. B. 356, 2, and reads : 



' Trusty &c. Being well informed that our Trusty &c Nicholas 
Butler Gent, hath for diverse yeares practised Physick in this Our City 
of London w th great credit & success ; & legally Licensed thereunto; & 
pticularly in y e time of y e late dreadfull pestilence w th great freedome 
giving access to all & pticularly to many hundreds of y e meaner sorte 
in a day gained reall esteeme & gave many Singular proofs of his know- 
ledge & abilities that way. Wee have thought good in token of Our 
Gracious acceptance of that his service, & as a marke of Our Royali 
favour, hereby to Recomend him to you for y e degree of a Doctor in 
Physick ; Willing & requiring you upon receipt of these Our Lres, all 
dispensacons necessary being first granted, to conferre on him the said 
Nicholas Butler, the sd degree of D r of Physick, w th out obliging him to 
y e performance of any previous or subsequent exercises for y e same, & 
w th exemption from all fees & paym ts for or in consideration of y e sd 
degree ; Any law, Canon, Statute or Custome of that Our University, or 
anything else to y e contrary notw th standing And soe &c 
' Given &c Mar 15, 1669. 

< To y e Vice Chancel^ of Camb: 
' to bee comunicated to y e Convocation.' 

The degree was granted as required ' per literas regias,' June 17, 1670. 

But the degree of M.D. does not satisfy him. He follows up the 
petition which had been so successful by another, asking 'Royali Letters' 
to practise physic throughout England. It is preserved in S. P. Dom. 
Car. II. 276, 241. 

It is endorsed on the side-fold : ' The Peticon of Nicholas Butler.' 

1 68 Detailed and Expository 

' To the King's most Excell* 

* The humble Peticon of Nicholas Butler Doctor in Physick 
1 Sheweth 

4 That whereas your Ma tie was graciously pleased in Consideration of 
his abode in London during the late dreadfull Pestilence and his constant 
administering of Physicke to all sorts of People who applied to him in 
great numbers for it to give yo r Royall Letters bearing date the fifteenth 
of March 1669-70 to the University of Cambridge for the Degree of 
Doctor of Physicke 

' Your Pet r most humbly prayes that yo r Ma tie will be pleased to 
give him yo r License under your Signe Manuall for practiseing Physicke 
throughout England 

' And yo r Pet r shall ever pray &c.' 

Whether the Royal Licence was given or not, does not appear by 
any documents preserved in the Record Office. Why he needed it 
when he had the Archiepiscopal licence to practise the art of medicine, 
which would apply to the whole Province of Canterbury (if not to the 
whole of England), I do not understand. Save that the publication of 
such a licence in the Gazette might bring him more into public notice. 

It is clear that he was of a restless and ambitious spirit, and it was 
too evidently ' restless ambition/ as much as any sincere desire to further 
the cause of the King, which led him into the important work we find 
him doing later in the years 1671 and 1672 in connection with 
the King's Indulgence to Nonconformists, and its actual working. 

It may enable us to estimate his conduct more justly, perhaps, if we 
first follow his career subsequent to this episode, which to us, of course, 
is of central and vital interest. 

One incident which belongs to the period of his active connection 
with the working of the Indulgence, but which had no relation with 
it, has yet a vital bearing on his personal career and domestic life. 

I refer to a Petition he addressed to the King for pardon for marrying a 
second wife during the life of his first. He had married again, as we have 
seen already, because his first wife was divorced from him for infidelity. 

We learn from it that his first wife's name was ' Dorothy ' and that 
his second wife was a widow, by name Mistress Jane Stephens. 

The Petition is drawn up in the handwriting of Francis Benson, Sir 
Joseph Williamson's chief clerk. It is calendared S. P. Dom. Car. II. 
317, 117 ; and is endorsed on the side-fold by Sir Joseph himself, c Dr. 
* Butler.' It reads : 

* To the King's most Excellent Ma tie , 

' The humble Petition of Nicholas Butler Doctor in Physick 
Humbly Sheweth 

4 That your Petitioner having immediately after Your Ma ties happy 
Restauration sued out a Divorce causa adulterii against Dorothy Butler 
his then wife and having till this present time remained in that Con- 
dition (he being satisfied in Conscience that by the Word of God it 
was lawful for him to marry againe during the life of his former wife, 
and also finding several examples formerly, as well as in the case of the 
Lord Ross) hath upon sober deliberation consummated a marriage with 

The Indulgence Documents 169 

Jane Stephens Widdow, but finding that by the defect of the Laws 
that he may meet with some disturbance as well as from Courts 
Spirituall as Temporall 

4 Your Petitioner therefore most humbly beggs that your Maty WO uld 
be pleased to grant him your Pardon for his soe doing under your Create 
Scale of England 

* And your Petitioner as in duty bound shall ever pray,' etc. 

This Petition was apparently accompanied by, or enclosed in, a letter 
addressed direct to the ' Earle of Arlington.' 

The terms of the letter suggest that this step had been suggested to 
him either by the Earl of Arlington, or (more probably) by Sir Joseph 

It seems that in the course of the transactions connected with the 
Royal Indulgence which were rapidly raising him in the confidence 
of the Whitehall authorities and making him a ' persona grata ' to the 
King himself, some one had set rumours in circulation that he was not 
legally married to his present wife, because a former wife (though 
divorced from him) was still living. And these whispered slanders were 
threatening his social status and that of his wife. 

Brought to the ears of Arlington and mentioned by him to the King, 
it would not be difficult to persuade the Merry Monarch (who was lax 
himself as regards the amenities and moralities of married life) to promise 
his pardon if the matter were brought before him in a judiciously worded 
Petition duly introduced by his favourite Arlington. 

So Dr. Nicholas Butler takes this course, forwarding his Petition to 
the King in a covering letter to the Earl. 

This letter is preserved as S. P. Dom. Car. II. 318 (207) ; en- 
dorsed 'Dec. 1672 R.,' and addressed : 'For y e right Hon ble the Earle 
' of Arlington.' 

One very remarkable circumstance is that this is the only letter pre- 
served, either in the Record Office or in the MS. Department of the British 
Museum Library, which bears his signature in full ' Nicholas Butler.' 

All others, which are signed at all, are signed only with the initial of 
his Christian name ' N,' but in such a curious form that it looks more 
like < J Butler ' (and so was taken by me to be the initial of the Christian 
name 'John'). The form of the Letter is more like a very magnified 
edition of the small letter ' n ' but with its second stroke not curved 2^ 
but straight and the second stroke of the ' N ' utilized as the firs: 

stroke of the < B 'thus In nearly all the letters connected with 

Charles's Indulgence, however, he signs in cypher : the cypher being a 
crossed scrawl -^^^ which bears only the remotest resemblance to the 
initial of his Christian name. 

This letter of appeal to the Earl reads as follows : 

'Decemb. y e u th 72 
< Right Hon We 

' I most humbly beg your pardon for this trouble as I must his 
Majesties for what I have done ; & had I not received your honors 

170 Detailed and Expository 

promise y l my pardon should bee had I should not (have) adventured 
I hope tis but veniall sin & soe ought not to meet with much difficulty. 
I never promised anything to my selfe beyond this, though beefore I 
had y e great happiness to know your honor I made it busines as I had 
opportunity to serve my King. 

* I leave my case with your honor & goodnes and rest as abundantly 

* My lord, your honors for ever to pray for you, 


The plan pursued is eminently successful. The Petition which had 
been drawn up in Arlington's office probably at Sir Joseph Williamson's 
dictation, and certainly in the handwriting of his chief clerk (Francis 
Benson) was no sooner presented to the King than it was granted, 
and the Pardon was ordered or warranted by a formal instruction, sent 
the same day (Dec. n, 1672) to the Attorney-General. 

It is entered in S. P. Dom. E. B. 34, 211, in the following form : 

<C. R. 

DR. BUTLER. Our Will & Pleasure is &c to pass our Great 
Scale of England containing Our gratious Pardon unto Nicholas Butler 
Doctor in Physick for & concerning the marrying of Jane Stephens 
during the life of Dorothy Butler his former wife heretofore causd 
adulterii divorced by him, & of all Paines & Penalties, Convicons & For- 
feitures whatsoever by reason thereof. With the restitution of Goods 
& Chattells & all other Forfeitures. And also that you insert in the 
same, a Special c non Obstante' to the Statute of i Jas. in that case 
provided or to any other Statute to the Contrary & w ch shall be 
requisite in this behalf with such other beneficiall Words & Clauses as 
may render Our said Pardon most avayleable & effectuall unto him for 
his soe doing & continuing soe 

< For w* & c . 

* Given &c 1 1 day of December '72. 

Without doubt the actual Pardon would be forwarded to him with- 
out delay ; and he would be able to mix with the fashionable society to 
which his connections with Whitehall would naturally introduce 
himself and his wife free from any anxiety from ill-natured and jealous 

How long he had been married to Jane Stephens does not appear 
distinctly from any of these documents though it was twelve years 
since he had been divorced from his first wife. His letter to Lord 
Arlington certainly suggests that it could not have been long before. 
There is one clause of his will which, read superficially, seems rather in- 
consistent with what is implied in these documents. A second clause 
in it seems to imply that his first wife was living at the time he made 
his will and probably survived him. There is also an allusion in one of 

The Indulgence Documents 171 

his letters to Sir Joseph Williamson which gives us a ' limit ' as to the 
date of the second marriage. 

The first clause in his will which at first blush is confusing as to 
dates reads as follows : c And whereas at my marryage with my now 
' wife Dame Jane Butler I did enter into one recognizance or statute in 
' nature of a Statute Staple taken and acknowledged before S r Francis 
' North Kn l then Lord Cheife Justice of the Court of Cornon Pleas bear- 
' ing date the 12 day of June 1676 by the name of Nicholas Butler then 
4 Doctor of Phisick to Christopher Plucknell of Fulham gent Thomas 
i Hassall and Tho. Lamb Citizens of London in the full sume of 2400 
' of good English money payable as therein is menconed which was soe 
' done by me for securing the performance of certaine articles made and 
4 entered into by me with my said now wife or with some of her Relations 
4 and Friends before our intermarriage.' The mention of the date 1676 
as the date of the < recognizance ' or i Statute Staple ' entered into ' at ' 
his marriage with his now wife Dame Jane Butler, seems to fix this his 
second marriage as having taken place in 1676 four years after his 
Petition for the King's forgiveness and the issue of the King's Pardon 
for his having * consummated ' it. 

Yet surely the word < at ' must be interpreted very laxly as meaning 
simply ' in connection with ' the * Recognizance ' having really been 
entered into at the very least seven or eight years after it as he puts it 
4 for the securing the performance of certain articles made and entered 
' into by me with my said now wife, &c., before our intermarriage ' 
which must mean the Marriage Settlement which was made by him 
as is usual just before the actual wedding. Though the 'recognizance' 
therefore was dated June 12, 1676; the ' intermarryage ' with Jane 
Stephens was long antecedent to this : and might have taken place at 
any time between 1660 (the probable date of the divorce) and 1672 the 
date of the issue of the King's Pardon. 

The second clause in the will I referred to above is the very brief 
one : * I give and devise unto Valentine Morley and Dorothy his wife 
' each of them 55.' as supplemented by the first clause of the Codicil 
' Item. My further will and mind is that if Dorothy Morley wife of 
' Valentine Morley doe not accept of the yearly sume of ^3. 6. 8. in full 
4 from my son and daughter Chauncey by vertue of their marryage 
' Settlement,' &c. 

The suggestion I make is that Valentine Morley is the man who had 
seduced his wife Dorothy from her conjugal fidelity, and who (after 
Nicholas Butler's divorce of her) had married her ; and that under threat 
of making trouble over Nicholas Butler's second marriage while she was 
still living, Nicholas Butler had made her an allowance to keep her 
quiet that allowance being continued to her for life by arrangement with 
his son-in-law, Mr. Chauncey. 

The allusion in a letter of his to Sir Joseph Williamson, occurs 
in the letter calendared as 320 (5). He is soliciting c liberty' (I 
suppose release from imprisonment) for 'one Thomas King' and 
explains that ' hee is a house carpenter married our chambormaid 
* 3 years agoe,' etc. The phrase c our chambormaid ' certainly implies 

IJ2 Detailed and Expository 

that his present menage with his second wife at its head has lasted for 
more than 3 years at the time of his writing. The letter is dated 
March 27/72 ; ' 3 years ' would take us back to March, 1669. So that 
at the very latest we may infer he had married the second time in 1668 
and probably earlier. From the ' testamentary ' allusions, moreover, it 
is a fairly sure inference that when he married a second time he married 
' money ' ; and that M rs . Jane Stephens had a fair competence of her 
own. This is borne out by the terms of her own will made seven years 
after her husband's death. 

However long or short a time they had been married, the 
first sure trace of any children as the fruit of this second marriage is 
given from two to three years after the ' Indulgence ' had been with- 
drawn, and any active work in connection with it had ceased. We 
know that Nicholas Butler was living in St. Helen's in 1665. He had 
evidently been living there ever since. There is documentary proof 
that he was living in Little St. Helen's in 1672. And in 1675-76 the 
St. Helen's Parish Register records : ' 1675. Jan. 16. a female Child of 
' D r . Butler bap.' By the way, it is a singular circumstance that the 
child's ' Christian ' name is not given, the only name specially connected 
with a * baptism ' or ' christening.' We can, however, with some con- 
fidence, supply this lack of information. She must have been 'Jane,' 
who at the age of 1 8 was married to Henry Chauncy, barrister. Foster 
gives us this record. ' 1692 Dec. 16. Henry Chauncy of Middle 
' Temple, Bachelor, 26 & Madam Jane Butler of Edmonton Middlesex, 
'Spinster 18 consent of father Sir Nicholas Butler K l at St. Andrew 
' Undershaft.' 

If her baptism had been deferred three weeks or a month she would 
have been born in December, 1674 : and so in December, 1692, might 
fairly be described as ' 1 8.' 

His friends at Court had evidently not dropped him : nor had he 
failed to remind them of his continued existence and expectation of help 
from the King, through them. I imagine that the King had refused to 
give him Royal Letters for a roving licence 'to practise physicke through- 
' out the Kingdome ' : and in his disappointment he had asked Sir Joseph 
Williamson to help him. Sir Joseph moves for him and this time by 
ivriting in his behalf to the President of the Royal College of Physicians. 

The letter is preserved as S. P. Dom. E. B. 43, 102. It is copied 
under the heading ' S r George Ent,' and reads : 

' Whitehall 4 July 1676. 

'S r , Will you please to remember a suite I made to you, and 
through your hands to y e College in favour of my friend M r Butler for 
a Lycence to practice Physicke within the Libertyes of y r Charter. 

' This is the way I choose my friends should take in all occasions 
rather then by any superior Interposition which in the little station I am 
in I shall ever discountenance. I beg leave to renew my suite and that 
I may have the assistance of y r authority in favour of my friend who will 
attend you with this 

< I am &c. 

'J. W.' 

The Indulgence Documents 173 

Sir William had evidently either written Dr, Ent* or had called at 
the Royal College of Physicians, sometime before : and thinks that by 
personally presenting Sir Joseph's letter Dr. Nicholas Butler will be more 
likely to gain his point. 

We have no proof that the licence was granted. Probably they 
were slow to issue 'licences,' except along the regular lines of * exercises' 
presented or examinations held of the candidate for the privilege. And 
the King had been unwilling to intervene by the 'Superior Inter- 
' position ' of ' Royall Letters ' containing a ' Mandamus ' to the ' Royal 
' College of Physicians ' as he had already done in 1670 to the University 
of Cambridge. 

For the next four years I have come upon no notice of Dr. 
Butler. But in 1680 we have record of the baptism of another 
daughter in St. Helen's Parish Church. The entry in the Parish 
Register is : 

' 1680. Sep. 28 Elizabeth da: of D r . Nicholas Butler & Jane his 
' wife.' 

Only two days later, we find the College of Physicians doing him 
honour. We should like to know to what the move was due the con- 
tinual ' dunning ' of the President and Fellows by his friend Sir Joseph 
Williamson or a message at length secured from the King. 

However it was brought about, the fact is thus recorded in Munk's 
Roll of the Royal College of Physicians Vol. L, 409, under date 1680. 
' Nicholas Butler M.D. A doctor of medicine of Cambridge (per Literas 
' Regias) of iyth June 1670 : was admitted an Honorary Fellow of the 
'College of Physicians 30 Sept r . 1680.' 

One would have supposed that now that Dr. Butler had secured all 
the prestige accruing to a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians, he 
would have largely increased his practice, and would be making a 
fortune by the successful practice of his profession. It may, of course, 
have been with this practical end in view that he sought and secured the 
further honour of Knighthood. To many a successful physician a 
'Knighthood' has proved a 'crowning mercy' in the direction of 
securing him a more remunerative 'clientele' among the nobility and 

Subsequent events, however, and the curious description of his 
status under which the honour of Knighthood is conferred upon him, 
rather show that it was because he was contemplating the abandonment 
of the ' healing art ' and entrance on the more remunerative role of a 
civil servant of the Crown. 

The honour is registered in Shaw's ' Knights Bachelors,' Vol. II., 
257. '1681-2 Mar. 2. Nicholas Butler of London merchant at 
' Whitehall.' 

His designation as ' merchant,' for a long time made me doubt the 

* There is an interesting reference to Sir George Ent in Pepys' Diary. Under 
date Jan. 22, 1665-66, he writes : ' The first meeting of Gresham College, since 
' the plague. Dr. Goddard did fill us with talk, in defence of his and his fellow 
4 physicians going out of town, in plague-time the . . . But what, among other fine 
1 discourse pleased me most, was Sir G. Ent (F.R.S. and President of the College 
' of Physicians) about Respiration &c. ' 

174 Detailed and Expository 

identity of this Nicholas Butler with ours who, when licensed 'to 
' practise the art of medicine,' was described as ' gent.' ; and when 
admitted to an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians 
was described as 'a doctor of medicine of Cambridge (per Literas 
4 Regias).' But the discovery of two autograph letters written by Sir 
Nicholas Butler in the MS. collections of the British Museum with 
his < unmistakeable ' signature proved that what seemed so improbable 
was the fact. It showed unmistakably that with the prospect opening 
of a lucrative office under the government of Charles, Dr. Nicholas Butler 
was ready at one stroke to 'shed' all the glories and honours of his 
medical profession and pose as a London ' merchant.' 

Possibly while carrying on the healing art he had carried on a 
business as a ' chymist ' or as a wholesale and retail dealer in drugs, so 
that this new description of ' merchant ' would not be wholly untrue to 
the facts. Still it does not raise him in our estimation to find that con- 
siderations of pecuniary and social gain should so easily lead him to 
abandon the profession of a lifetime. 

So it evidently was. He is still residing in Little St. Helen's 
when he goes up to Whitehall, and is presented by his friend Arlington 
to receive the honour of Knighthood from the King. 

For on the birth of his last child and youngest daughter ' Angell,' 
we find she is baptized in St. Helen's Parish Church. 

'1682. Ap. ii. Angell da: of Sir Nicholas Butler Knt. & Jane 
' his wife,' is the entry in the Parish Register which proudly records the 
honour conferred on the father only five weeks before, as well as the last 
addition to his family. 

This same year, 1682, and in this same month of April, we find that 
he is appointed to the lucrative post of a Commissioner of Customs. At 
this time the Customs were < farmed ' as were the ' Taxes ' : and there 
is little doubt that at this period there was a great deal of practical 
peculation in both, nay in all, departments of Government. 

As early as April 14 (three days after the ' christening ' of ' Angell ') 
we have documentary evidence of his being already installed in the 
active duties of his new office. 

In the Kenyan MSS. under this date < 1682. April 14,' we find Sir 
Nicholas Butler as one of the Commissioners of Customs, on the nomi- 
nation of the Commissioners of the Treasury, appointing a ' waiter and 
* searcher for the Isle of Wight.' 

Nor does Sir Nicholas fail to improve his opportunities of securing 
the personal favour of, and even intimacy with, the King and his 
brother the Duke of York. We have proof, indeed, that by the next 
year, 1683, he is in a position of confidence and influence with them, 
and of consideration with all the members of the Court. In a letter 
written by Sir Christopher Musgrave and Richard Traherne to Lord 
Dartmouth (preserved in the Dartmouth MSS. Vol. III., p. 121), under 
date August 27, 1683, the writers refer to Sir Nicholas in terms 
implying all this. Lord Dartmouth's financial affairs had become very 
involved, and in his absence from home on public naval service he had 

The Indulgence Documents 175 

committed them to the care of these two friends to do what they could 
to reduce them to order and to solvency. 

Lord Dartmouth is Admiral aboard the Grafton, and his friends are 
writing to him to report progress. And they write thus : { Sir Nicholas 

* Butler told us that he had spoken with the King and the Duke in 
4 your favour, who have promised to make you easy in your fortune; 

* upon which we asked him if that would be done before your return, he 
4 believed not. So that your Lordship hath no greater assurance (as 
' we conceive) than you had at parting.' 

On October n, this same year, 1683, we find (Patents): 'The 
< King Giveth unto S r John Worden & S? Nicholas Butler Knight 
1 all sumes of mony reced from his Majesty or by his direction by Roger 
' Whitley Esq. for Postage of Letters which ought to have gone free of 
' Postage to have and Receive without account.' 

And the following year we find a Patent appointing him (re- 
appointing him, with four others) a Customs Commissioner, with a 
salary of 1,200 a year : 

< 36. Car. II. 

' DUDLEY NORTH, \ to be commissioners for the manageing 

* ANDREW NEWPORT, and causeing to be levyed and collected 

* S R RICHARD TEMPLE, L the Customes, Subsidies, and other 
4 S R GEORGE DOWNING, dutyes during pleasure. Sallary .1,200 
' & NICHOLAS BUTLER, J by the yeare to every Commissioner.' 

Ten months later, too, we find him giving counsel to Sir Richard 
Temple, as a brother-Commissioner. The letter is preserved among 
the Stowe MSS., in the MS. Department of the British Museum 
Library (Vol. 554, f. 53). The body of the letter is apparently 
written by his clerk, but it is signed with Sir Nicholas's unmistakable 

It is written from London (LN), dated May 30, 1684, and 
addressed : c To S r Richard Temple, Baronett, Kn 1 of the Bath, and 

* one of the hono ble Com rs of his Ma ties Customes In Exon.' 

It reads : 

< 1684. 

4 1 have yo rs of the thirtieth of the last month from Exon. As for 
sending yo r Reporte of Southampton and Cows, if you bee not like to 
return speedily you will doe well to send itt. But certainly it is for the 
King and your owne Advantage to have it read and determined when 
you are heere. As for your returne by Weymouth if you will take a 
ffriends Advice I would Advise you to the Contrary for M r . Miller has 
obtained his Habeas Corpus to be removed up hither to London, you 
will be able to doe him more service (if there bee roome for it) by your 
not goeing thither than if you did. You cannot now expect anything 
from the Boord relating to Sanford, and I think you much derogate 
from yo r selfe, when you seeme to think you ought to Act nothing but 
as you receive direction from the Boord. The Kings Comission is your 

176 Detailed and Expository 

only direction unlesse you receive any further from the Lords of the 
Treasury. There is noething appeares to me as yet relating to the state 
of Penhalurick* but as you have in yo r letter sett forth to mee, therefore 
in relation both to him and Mr. Miller it would doe well that you were 
heere as soon as you could. There will bee a Peace abroade. But 
Edinburgh must fall into the ffrench hands whether Peace or Warr. 
<Iam S r 

* Your Loving friend & humble Serv 1 , 

' LN 30 May 1684.' 

Only a month later he is actively pressing the claims of a ' M r . 
'Bankes' who, according to Sir Nicholas's putting of the case, has 
suffered violence and injustice at the hands of the French. 

Three letters of Lord Preston's give ample proof of the importance 
attached by him to the position and influence of Sir Nicholas Butler. 
[Lord Preston was at this time British Ambassador in Paris.] 

They are all preserved in the House of Lords MSS. 

1. The first is dated July 12, 1684. It is sent from Paris to his 
cousin Jn Galme of Clifford's Inn. He writes : 

' I pray you be pleased to present my most humble service to Sir 
Nicholas Butler & to let him know that I received his letter of the 
26th June last yesterday. . . . Therefore Sir N. B. and Mr. Banks 
would do well to take care that his Majesty may be thoroughly 
informed of the violence & injustice of the proceedings, & be pleased to 
assure them that if any further orders come to me I shall take care to 
execute them vigorously here.' 

2. The second is addressed by Lord Preston direct to Sir N. Butler. 
It is dated from Paris June 17, 1684, and he says : 

* I did yesterday receive yours of the 2nd Inst. s.v. in which you are 
pleased to recommend to me the affairs of Mr. Bankes. I had before 
received his Majestys commands in it from my Lord of Sunderland, & I 
have already prepared a memorial (a copy of which I have sent to my 
Lord by this post) to be presented to his most Christian Majesty upon 
that subject. You may be assured sir, that I shall not fail to endeavour 
to obtain speedy satisfaction for Mr. Banks.' 

3. The third was written nearly five months later. It is also 
addressed to 'Sir N. Butler,' written from Paris. Nov. 4, 1684. 
He says : 

' I shall not fail to do all that lieth in my power in the affairs of M r . 
Bankes, for besides the commands of the King, & the justice of the 
cause, your recommendation of it must work much with me. I intend 
to go the next week to Fontainebleau where I shall press the ministers 
upon it ; & I shall endeavour to obtain as speedy an answer as I can.' 

* Penhallurick is north of Stithyans and west of Gwennap, in the Falmouth dis- 
trict of Cornwall, in Kirrier Hundred. 

The Indulgence Documents 177 

Was this Mr. Banks (Bankes) the son of Sir John Bankes (an 
opulent merchant, with puritan sympathies) ? In August, 1676, some 
eight years before this trouble, Evelyn tells us in his Diary under date 
August 25 (1676), that he ' Din'd with Sir John Banks at his house in 
' Lincoln's Inn Fields, on recommending Mr. Upman to be tutor to 
4 his sonn going into France,' (adding ' This Sir John Banks was a 
' merchant of small beginning, but had amass' d ioo,ooo/. J ). This 
allusion may point to the commencement by the son of trade con- 
nections with France ; and the troubles so indefinitely alluded to in 
these letters may have concerned some high-handed interference of 
French custom-house officers with merchandise of Sir John Banks's 

These letters bring us near the close of this section of Sir Nicholas 
Butler's career, in which by his Knighthood and appointment to a 
Commissioner of Customs, he was lifted into all the importance, 
influence and perils of official life. Charles II. himself seems to have 
received him well ; but the Duke of York had evidently taken even 
greater notice of him. Indeed he seems to have seen in Sir Nicholas 
traits of character which inclined him to judge he could take him into 
more intimate confidence and use him in his service. 

Indeed, I can scarcely resist the inference that he must have given 
the Duke of York to understand that his Anglicanism was not < stiff' 
enough to prevent him working with Papists, or serving the Duke with 

This, at any rate, is what happened when in the following year 
Charles II. died, and the Duke of York succeeded to the throne as 
James II. 

Sir Nicholas Butler did not lose but gained influence, and seems to 
have favoured rather than opposed all James's schemes for toleration of 
non-Anglicans, and the elevation of Roman Catholics to places of 
honour and trust. In May, 1686, four Roman Catholics were sworn 
of the Privy Council, and a passage of great heat between himself and 
the Earl of Rochester may well have arisen out of Sir Nicholas's 
attitude of sympathy with James's policy. We are not informed of 
the nature or occasion of the dispute. We only see its close in a very 
undignified withdrawal from it by an abject apology and submission. 
We have to bear in mind, of course, that the Earl of Rochester was 
Lawrence Hyde, second son of the Earl of Clarendon, who inherited and 
maintained a stout devotion to the Protestantism of the Church of 
England ; had been created Earl of Rochester, December, 1682 ; had 
been made President of the Council in 1684 ; and in 1684-85 was appointed 
High Treasurer of the Exchequer. In the strong division of opinion 
created by James II.'s growing bigotry, however, the Earl of 
Rochester did not waver in his opposition to Roman Catholicism, and 
in December of this year (1686) had the White Staff taken from him. 
What then so likely as that in Sir Nicholas Butler's growing com- 
pliance with James's policy and devotion to the King he should come to 
high words with Rochester. 

Sir Nicholas evidently could not defend his action, whatever it was, 


178 Detailed and Expository 

and in fear that he might lose with his colleagues more than he could 
gain from the King, he wrote the letter which is preserved in the addi- 
tional MSS., Vol. 15,894, in the British Museum Library MS. Depart- 
ment. It is endorsed ' Petition to your LoPP. 

'S-- Nicholas Butler, July ith, 1686.' 

Written by his clerk, it is signed by Sir Nicholas. It must have 
been composed under great agitation of mind : for while endorsed or 
addressed ' Petition to your LoPP,' and headed ' The Humble Submission 
' of S r Nicholas Butler Kn 1 ,' it is really a letter. It runs : 

'To the R l Hon ble Laurence Earle of Rochester Lord High 
' Treasurer of England. 

' The Humble Submission of S r Nicholas Butler Knt. 
' My Lord, 

' I am very Sencible that I am Justly fallen under your Lordships 
displeasure for my Undecent & ill behaviour towards your LordP when 
I with the rest of the Comission rs wayted upon you last at the Treasury, 
for which I am most heartily sorry. And humbly begg your LordP 5 
pardon. And as my crime was publickly comitted (if your LordP 
think fitt) I will as publickly make my submission And begg your 
Pardon the first tyme I shall have the happinesse to wayte on your 
LordP with the rest of the Comission r5 at y e Treasury Chamber. And 
doe assure your LordP that for the future you shall have noe reason to 
complaine of anything in the like nature. 

' Yo r LordP 5 Most humble and most obedient Servant, 

'July the ist, 1686.' 

As events turned out, Sir Nicholas need not have been in such haste 
to humiliate himself before the Earl, for the Earl's star was very rapidly 
declining, and Sir Nicholas's was in the ascendant. Before the year 1686 
was out, Rochester was degraded ; removed from his high office of ' Lord 
' High Treasurer,' and in the course of the year following, Sir Nicholas 
was admitted to the Privy Council. 

Things were moving very swiftly now towards the restoration of 
Roman Catholicism. 

On April 4, James published his 'gracious declaration to all his 
'loving subjects for Liberty of consciences,' which was only an excuse 
for installing Papists in positions of trust and honour. And in October 
more drastic steps were taken in this retrograde direction. 

Preserved amongst the ' Montague House MSS.' is a letter from 
John Smithsby to Mr. Antonie, dated October 21, 1687, in which he 
writes : 

' His Majesty since his return from his Progress hath removed most 
' of the Aldermen of the City of London, and most of the Assis- 
' tants of the several Companies, most of [those] which are brought in 
'their places were formerly turned out for Nonconformity. Duke 

The Indulgence Documents 179 

* Hamilton and Sir Nicholas Butler were sworn t'other day of the Privy 
< Council.' The Duke of Hamilton was a pronounced Papist. That 
Sir Nicholas should have < gone in ' with him is incredible, if he had not 
been more Papist than anything else. 

On November 9, we come upon a rumour, which proved unfounded, 
that Sir Nicholas was to be made a Peer. It is in a letter, preserved 
in the House of Lords MSS., written by Dr. W. Denton to Sir R. 
Verney. Dr. Denton writes : ' I hear that Baron Wem is to be your 
4 Lord Lieutenant, and that Sir Nicholas Butler shall be Baron 

* Edmonton and Viscount Boon.' 

Though the rumour proved unfounded, however, it serves to give us 
a point of light on his domestic history. Up to 1682 we know he 
continued to live in Little St. Helen's, Bishopsgate. This reference to 
Edmonton as the place from which he would name his Peerage, if he 
obtained it, shows that he had probably resided there some time. We 
know that Edmonton was his home from this time to his death in 1700, 
and that his widow continued to reside there till her own. 

Two days after the date of this letter, Father Edward Petre, the 
King's private Confessor, was sworn of the Privy Council. So that 
the year 1687 closes with Sir Nicholas established in the confidence of 
James II., and working in harmony with the Popish party. A 
casual reference to him in Bishop Burnet's c Life and Times ' confirms 
this view of his position. The allusion occurs in a passage,* quoted 
from ' The Life of King James II.,' in which it is said of the Earl of 
Sunderland, ' He would often try the ford by his secret agents, as sir 
4 Nicholas Butler, M r . Lob, even Father Petre himself, that he might 
4 seem only not to oppose those dangerous methods which had their true 

* origin from him alone.' 

In the month of November (1687) 'The Earle of Sunderland pro- 

* cures a Pardon & dispensation to Sir Nicholas Butler K nt for acting 

* contrary to, or omitting to do what is enjoined by several Statutes ' ; 
andHn February of the following year 1687-88, 'A Constitution of Sir 
' Nicholas Butler Kn l ' is issued * to be a Commissioner of Customs with a 
4 Clause of Dispensation usually inserted in Commissions of the Peace,' 
while in October of the same year, a special Pardon is granted to 
Sir Nicholas Butler. fAll these are extracted from the * Lords' 
< Journals,' XIV., 394.]" 

It is a little puzzling to know why the Pardon and dispensation are 
needed by him, as well as a reappointment to the office of Commissioner 
of the Customs which he had held so long. Except it be this, that in 
1682 he was appointed as an orthodox Anglican, and had subscribed the 
4 Three Articles ' as a conformable member of the Church of England 
as by law established, but that when sworn ' member ' of the Privy 
Council, he had declared himself willing to receive * fresh light ' on the 
subject of religion from the Priests of the Roman Catholic Church, and 
had asked to be reappointed Commissioner of Customs as one who was 
now loath to subscribe, as required by the Oxford Act, and claimed 
dispensation under James's Declaration of Indulgence. 

* Vol. III., p. 249, note *. 


i8o Detailed and Expository 

If so, it certainly could not have been as a Protestant Noncon- 
formist, but as one who was more than half persuaded to become a 
Papist. And this, at least, is clear that he was pledging himself more and 
more deeply to James and his cause, in face of the growing feeling in 
favour of the Prince of Orange. 

When William actually landed, and made such rapid progress, it is 
clear Sir Nicholas knows scarcely what to do, and when James's cause 
has become practically hopeless, he seems to have been seized with 
panic- fear, lest by his reconstituted office he should be treated as an 
enemy, and at the end of November he throws up all the offices he 
holds by special favour of James. 

For in a news-letter of November 29, 1688, preserved in the 
Fleming MSS., and repeated in the Kenyon MSS., the facts are 
laconically announced : * Prince of Orange at Crewkerne D r . Oates 
'dead Sir Nicholas Butler has laid down his places' (or 'all his 
< places '). 

With the final flight of James II. from Whitehall on December 23, 
1688, and the establishment of William and the English Court around 
him in January, 1689, Sir Nicholas with startling suddenness abandons 
the cause of James, and tries to begin again. As we learn from a letter 
in the Leeds MSS., dated January 16, 1689, addressed by Sir Nicholas 
to the Earl of Danby, he freely and eagerly tends his proffers of service 
to the Prince. 

In accordance with a very natural wish, on the part of William, to 
detach from James's party all who showed any signs of wavering, and to 
attach to himself as many influential English subjects as he can, he appears 
rather to have encouraged than repulsed Sir Nicholas. Only a month 
after the proclamation of William and Mary as King and Queen, we 
find that William III. puts Sir Nicholas Butler, Knt. (of Edmonton), on 
the first Commission of a Lieutenancy of London,* and he is appointed 
as one of those whose presence was necessary to make a Court. This 
shows that, while his case may have been thought to be a suspicious and 
doubtful one, his social and previous official positions were thought by 
Danby of sufficient importance to make it worth while to pledge him 
by office to the new regime. 

The plan seems to have been scarcely successful, or perhaps we 
ought to say that Sir Nicholas was too deeply pledged to the Jacobite 
party for them to allow him to shake himself free of them all at once, 
or for him to have given up all hopes of James's return. In the course 
of the next twelve months, at any rate, he seems to have found his 
position so far from secure in England, or to have conceived that he 
might be able so really to serve his old friends on the other side the 
Channel, that he crossed to Holland, remaining there for the winter of 
1689 and 1690; and did not return to England till May or June, 1690. 
The exact dates and periods are conjectural, but the main facts are 

* In the ' Lords' Journals,' under date May 2, 1690, is a paper headed ' Names of 
'the Lieutenancy of London. No. i Commission of 19 Mar., 1688-89, Sir Nicholas 
* Butler Q ' the ' Q ' signifying that he was one of those whose presence was neces- 
sary to make a Quorum. This was William III.'s first Commission. 

The Indulgence Documents 181 

clearly enough implied in a letter from the Earl of Portland to King 

The Earl is the British Ambassador or Plenipotentiary at The 
Hague ('La Haye'), and writes to the King in a letter calendared 
<S. P. Dom. King William's Chest ' (Vol. VI., 124), signed; 4 Portland,' 
and dated ' de la Haye, ce 1 5 Febvrier, '90.' . . . ' My L d Sunderland 
' n'a pas este ici . . . S r Nic s Butler a demande a me voir men(e)crivant 
' quil avoit a me parler des choses que je servis bien aise dentendre. 
* ... mais il ne me dit rien sinon quil couliussoit* de retourner en 

* Angleterre et quil vous servisoit fidelement pretendant estre ignorant 
' de tout ce qui a estoit passe.' 

What exactly had taken place in these months is difficult to say, but 
there are hints in some of the Treasury Papers that it may have had to 
do with his conduct as one of the Commissioners of Customs : that 
complaints had been lodged against the Customs Board of James's reign, 
and that Sir Nicholas was implicated in the conduct of which complaint 
was made. Or it may have been that suspicions had been raised that 
he was concerned in some of the plots which had been unearthed and 
shattered for bringing James back. Here are the papers bearing on 
the point : 

The first is ' Cal. Treasury Papers' (Vol. VII., 20), 'Report of 
'Richard Hutchinson, Esq., on an allegation by Chr. Fawthorpe.' 
Jan. 1 8., 1689-90. 

' His report is that he was not prosecuted about penal laws and tests 
'nor by Sir Nicholas Butler particularly, but by order of the whole 
< Board for on landing t certain parcels of tobacco on which he forfeited 
'6oo/. . . . Dated 18 Jan. 1689.' [NOTE. ' The King will not 
4 forgive it.'] 

The second is ' Cal. Treasury Papers ' (Vol. VIL, 41) : ' Memorial of 
' M r John Lithered to the Lords of the Treasury, attacking the 
' Commissioners of Customs with M r Hough who had been tampering 
4 with persons who were criminals in that affair, as well as himself (M r 

* Hough) ... as self-interested as M r Wells, the officer at Sandwich, 
' or as Sir Nicholas Butler, when a Com r of Customs : and suspects 
' there are some of the same kidney as the Honorable Board.' [Agent 
at Dunkirk for the late King James.] 

It was about this time that James had gone to Ireland with a fleet 
and an army (aided by the French) to attempt to capture Ireland as a 
base for the recovery of England; and it was in April, 1690, that 
William took command of the English Army to oppose and crush 
James. Mary he left with full powers as Queen of England. It was 
apparently at this time, while William was absent in Ireland, that Sir 
Nicholas ventured to return to England. Yet it was only to be arrested 
immediately and imprisoned in Newgate ; and the documentary proof 
of this is the interesting entry of a warrant under the seal of 
' Maria Regina,' entered in ' S. P. Dom. Warrant Book ' (XXXV., 
p. 290) : 

* ? From coulissier, ' to frequent the coulisse make secret arrangements.' 
f Old form for ' unlanding,' an intensive form like ' unloosing.' 

Detailed and Expository 

' Abell Alley 
to attend upon 
S r Nicholas 

It is her Majty 5 Pleasure that Abell Alley be permitted 
to attend upon S r Nicholas Butler a Prisoner in your 
Custody provided that he be confined with him. 

* Given at y e Court at Whitehall 
ye 271*1 ) a y of June 1690. 

* To Major Richardson 

' Keeper of Newgate/ 

With the victory of the Boyne in July, James's cause was finally 
destroyed, and suspects were released, among them Sir Nicholas Butler. 
The date of that release I have not traced. He seems to have 
settled down to a quiet life at Edmonton ; and the following year, 
1692, his daughter Jane is married to Henry Chauncy, barrister of the 
Middle Temple. 

Foster has preserved the Licence : 

' 1692, Dec. 1 6. Henry Chauncy of Middle Temple, Bachelor, 
26 ; & Madam Jane Butler of Edmonton, Middlesex, Spinster, 18. 
consent of (the) father Sir Nicholas Butler, Kn l , at St. Andrew Under- 
shaft (Lombard St.).' 

My inference that Sir Nicholas had been released and was living in 
retirement in Edmonton is, however, rather rudely challenged by the 
next document bearing upon his career. 

It refers to the beginning of the year 1697-98, full four years after 
his daughter's marriage ; but it is dated 1703. 

It is preserved in the MSS. of the House of Lords, and numbered 
1,900 : 

' 15 Feb. I7of. List of persons who had licences in the reign of 
William III. to return to England, upon the Act* of Dec. 1697 to 
prevent correspondence with the late King James, the warrants being 
countersigned by the late M r Secretary Vernon.f 

4 169! J an - 2 5- Sir Nicholas Butler.' 

This certainly seems to imply that Sir Nicholas Butler was in 
France in 1697. How long he had been there does not appear. So 
that he might have been at home ifor some time after his daughter's 
marriage, and become implicated in some further Jacobite designs 
requiring his presence in France. All this is pure conjecture, which 
may be quite baseless. 

After all the turmoil of the last ten years, and on the appearance of 
international settlement by the Peace of Ryswick, Sir Nicholas appears 
to have made up his mind to retire from public life, and make arrange- 

* It had been preceded by a Proclamation, issued November 2, ' for apprehend- 
' ing his Majesty's Subjects who should return from France without Licence. ' 
f Who replaced Mr. Secretary Trumbull on December 5. 

The Indulgence Documents 183 

ments for the future. And on July 5, 1699^ he made his will, as 
follows : 

4 [Somerset House : Noel. 125.] 

< [1 Dni Nicholai Butler Militis.] 

* I S r Nicholas Butler of Edmonton in the County of Middx 
Kn* being in perfect health of body and of sound mind memory and 
understanding (praised be Almighty God for the same) doe here make 
my last Will and Testament humbly comending my soule to God and 
my body to be decently buryed in such manner as I shall hereinafter 
direct and whereas I have by Indenture bearing date the fourth day of 
July in the present yeare 1699 limited setled and disposed of severall 
Messuages Farmes Lands and Hereditaments therein menconed and 
comprised upon such trusts ends intents and purposes as are therein 
expressed and declared. My will and mind is that the said Settlement 
soe made by me as afores d shall stand ratifyed and confirmed. And I 
doe hereby establish and affirme the same (except one Farme of Child* 
which I gave for ever to my daughter Chauncy) after my death. And 
whereas at my marryage with my now wife Dame Jane Butler I did 
enter into one recognizance or statute in nature of a Statute Staple taken 
and acknowledged before S r Francis North Kn l then Lord Cheife 
Justice of the Court of C onion Pleas bearing date the I2th day of June 
1676 by the name of Nicholas Butler then Doctor in Phisicke to Chris- 
topher Plucknell of Fulham gent Thomas Hassall and Tho Lamb 
Citizens of London in the full sume of ^2400 of good English money 
payable as therein is menconed which was soe done by me for securing 
the performance of certaine articles made and entred into by me with 
my said now wife or with some of her Relations and Friends before our 
inter marryage. Now my will is that my said loving Wife shall in the 
first place after my decease and after all my funerall charges and debts 
paid and satisfyed receive and take to her owne proper use out of my 
personall estate all such sume and sumes of money as are and ought to 
be paid unto her by the said Articles. 

c And my will and mind is that the said Articles shall in all partes 
thereof be performed and made good to my s d wife. And after full 
satisfaction made to my said wife and full payments of my debts. 

' I give and devise unto Valentine Morley and Dorothy his wife 
each of them 5/. 

c And unto . . . Filkins and his Wife Jane each 5/. 

'And unto Will: Stasmore and his Wife Mary each 5/. 

' And I give unto my 3 Grandsons Henry Butler and Nicholas 
Chauncy each of them ^20. 

4 My mind and will is that my Children and their Husbands and my 
Grandchildren which are by the Children of this said Wife have each of 
them ^5 each for mourning. 

* My mind and will is that I be decently buryed in the night 
without any Eschutchions in the Chancell in parish Church of Edmonton 
and none to be at my frunerall but my owne ffamily which I require to 
be punctually performed. 

* ? Child's Hill, Hampstead. 

184 Detailed and Expository 

* And I make my deare wife Dame Jane Butler my sole Executrix 
of this my last Will and Testament revokeing hereby all former Wills. 
July 5th j6 99> 


* Signed & sealed & declared in presence of 



' [Codicil to Will.] 

* Item my further will and mind is that if Dorothy Morley wife 
of Valentine Morley doe not accept of the yearely sume of ^3 .6.8. 
in full from my son and daughter Chauncey by vertue of their marryage 
Settlement That then what I have charged upon my daughter Angell 
Butler in a Deed of Settlement beareing date 4 July 1699 which is the 
sume of 3 . 6 . 8 to be paid to Dorothy Morley shall not be paid to her, 
but shall be paid to my son and daughter Chauncey and their Heires 
during the life of the said Dorothy Morley. And as on the other side I 
make my deare Wife Dame Jane Butler my whole and sole executrix 
of this my last Will and Testament this 5th day of July 1699, whereas 
there is an interlineing on the other side betwixt the I2th & I3th lyne 
in my owne handwriting and my will to be strictly performed. 


* Signed sealed & delivered in the presence of 




The indentures and settlement referred to in the Will, it will be 
observed, were made the day before the Will, so that these three 
Instruments were evidently intended to be a final settlement of all his 
temporal affairs. 

If the preamble of the Will were true that at the time Sir Nicholas 
was * in perfect health ' of body, he did not remain so long. 

Not twelve months elapsed before it had been proved by ' Jane Butler 

* relict & executrix' viz., on June 26: A.D. 1700. 

Its exact date is given in his epitaph- as preserved by W. Robinson. 
In his 'History of Edmonton,' published in 1819 (p. 107), he cites it as 

* On a black marble slab in the pavement within the chancel ' : 

' Here lyeth the Body of | S R NICHOLAS BURLER, of this parish 
Knt. died June 8 th A.D. 1700 | in the 74th year of his Age 
And also the Body of Dame Jane | his Wife, who deparated 
this life | y e 27 th day of April 1707. Aged 67 years.' 

Two palpable mistakes (probably misprints) ' Burler ' for ' Butler ', 
and ' deparated ' for ' departed ' make the exact accuracy of Robinson's 
transcript a little doubtful. The entry of Sir Nicholas's burial in the 
Parish Register, and the date of the proving of the Will by his widow, 
are both so naturally consistent with the date given for his death in the 
epitaph, that we may safely accept it as accurate. 

The Indulgence Documents 185 

The entry of the Burial reads : '1700 | June | 13 S^ Nich: Butler,' 
which is five days after the date of the death ; and the date of the 
Probate is 'the 26 th of June 1700 at London ' not quite a fortnight 
after the funeral. 

Sir Nicholas Butler therefore ended his chequered course in the 
retirement of his quiet home at Edmonton on Saturday, June 8, 1700, 
having attained the age of over seventy-three. 

We learn also from the slab that his widow survived him nearly 
seven years, dying April 27, 1707, at the age of sixty-seven. 

Unfortunately the slab is no longer visible, as it certainly was less 
than a century ago. No trace of it was discoverable November 2, 
1913, either on the floor of the Chancel, or on its walls. 'If extant,' 
Mr. Gordon says, ' it is either under the modern tiling of part of the 
Chancel, or under the wooden flooring of the Choir-benches.' So that 
we cannot tell as we might, could we compare the two parts of the 
inscription whether the slab was placed there by the widow, and her 
epitaph added by a later hand, or the memorial to both was placed there 
after Dame Butler's death. The former is the more natural supposi- 
tion, as she showed her loyalty to her husband's memory in this simple 
sentence in her will : ' I desire to be privately and decently buried by 
' my said Husband S r Nicholas Butler.' In that case it is probable that 
the second part of the inscription was added by order of their youngest 
daughter, ' Angell Butler,' for we gather from Dame Butler's will that 
Angel lived with her mother, unmarried, till her mother's death, as 
she made her ' dear daughter Angell Butler ' her residuary legatee, and 
sole executrix. 

If the latter supposition is the truth, it is still most probable that 
Miss Angel Butler made all the funeral arrangements, and placed the 
memorial in the chancel ; for in her will, her mother mentions only her 
elder sister Elizabeth, who had married a Mr. Sedgwick,* making no 
reference by name to her eldest daughter and namesake, nor to any of 
the children of her husband's first wife. But she does remember ' all 

* her grandchildren,' giving ' to each of them a Gold mourning ring of 
' the value of ten shillings, to be delivered to each of them by her 

* Executrix . . . soon after her decease.' It produces the impression 
upon us that Henry Chauncey and his wife had not paid the mother 
much attention after Sir Nicholas's death. 

The will was made by Dame Butler on June 8, 1 706, six years to 
the day after her husband's death little less than a year before her 
own. And it was proved in London by her daughter within a month 
of the death. 

Dame Butler's maiden name we do not know. Was it ' Boon ' (to 
give the name to her husband's peerage as 'Viscount Boon,' if the 
rumoured honour had really been conferred on him) ? Born in 1640, 
she could not have married her first husband, Mr. Stephens, before 1657 
or 1658. As we have seen (p. 172) that the earliest likely date of her 
second marriage (with Nicholas Butler) was 1668, she may, of course, 
have then been widowed some few years. 

* To her she gives ' ten pounds in money, and the bed and boulster she lyes upon.' 

1 86 

Detailed and Expository 

Putting together the testimony of the two wills, as well as of the 
register of St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, we learn that Sir Nicholas had 
three daughters by his second wife (and most probably no sons) : 

1. Jane (so named after her mother), born 1675-76 ; married to 

Henry Chauncey, barrister. 

2. Elizabeth, born 1680 ; married to Mr. Sedgwick. 

3. Angell, born 1682 ; still unmarried at the time of her mother's 


As to the grandchildren, we learn the names of only two both boys 
and from Sir Nicholas's will : (i) Henry Butler probably the son of a 
son, not elsewhere named, probably by his first wife Dorothy. (2) 
Nicholas Chauncey, doubtless the son of his eldest daughter Jane. 
There is in Somerset House the record of the Admbn of a Nicholas 
Butler ; but this most probably a nephew of Sir Nicholas, as he is 
described as c late of H.M.S. Le Edgar^ bachelor,' and it was granted to 
his sister, Charity Coleman ux. Henry Coleman. Both Nicholas and 
Charity were probably children of a brother of Sir Nicholas. 

Here we must close our account of his life, with profound regret 
that no information is forthcoming about his birth, his family, his 
education, and his early years in which alone we can expect to find 
the key to his strange but fascinating career. 

Such was the man whom Sir Joseph Williamson chose, on behalf ot 
Lord Arlington, to sound the Nonconformists of the City of London, and 
to discover the best means of recovering their lost confidence, so as if 
possible to secure their silence, if not their support, in case the King and 
Council decided on an alliance with France and war against the Dutch 
and whom he afterwards consulted so largely in determining the final 
form the Indulgence was to take and the lines along which it was 
finally administered. 

He had secured his M.D. (through the intervention of the King) 
only about a year before he took up this work. The diploma had been 
conferred on him in March, 1670, only a month after Parliament had 
passed the Second Conventicle Act ; and we have observed elsewhere 
how the extreme harshness and injustice with which it was worked very 
soon produced a discontent, and in many districts a resentment which 
the King saw with an uneasiness bordering on alarm. I have referred 
to the vividness with which the facts were brought out in two pam- 
phlets of the time, which had a wide circulation. The one. was entitled 
' A True and Impartial Narrative of some Illegal and Arbitrary Pro- 
4 ceedings ... in and near the Town of Bedford'; the other, bearing 
a very similar title c A True and Faithful Narrative of the Unjust and 
Illegal Sufferings of many Christians ... in Devon.' The latter had 
been brought under the notice of the King himself ; and, through the 
intervention of Colonel Blood, who just now was in high favour at 
Court, the King had had a personal interview with the author of the 
pamphlet,* John Hickes, of Saltash. The additional details given by 

* As is shown more at large, farther on, in the article on John Hickes. 

The Indulgence Documents 187 

John Hickes in this interview had evidently seriously impressed the King, 
and there is little doubt that Blood would deepen that impression by 
what he was able to tell the King of his own experience and the 
sufferings of many of his friends. All this convinced Charles that the 
natural attitude of the Nonconformists under this relentless persecution 
would make the foreign policy he contemplated full of special peril. It 
would almost necessarily make the Nonconformists abettors of the enemy, 
and more hostile than ever to his ally the Papist King of France. He 
must, if possible, allay this resentment, and by some means change it 
into gratitude and loyalty. How could that be done so effectually as 
by showing his Nonconformist subjects that persecution was to him a 
< strange ' work, which he did not like, and that he was meditating 
seriously putting an end to it by abolishing or suspending all Penal 
Statutes against them ? 

Before he made the venture, however, he must get to know how far 
they would accept such overtures, and respond to them. He naturally 
turned to Arlington, his Home Secretary by secret means, if necessary 
to ascertain the facts by getting at the real feeling of the leading Non- 
conformists. This work Arlington, as usual, turned over to Joseph 
Williamson (not yet knighted), his chief secretary. Looking about for 
suitable agents for this work, Joseph Williamson seems to have lighted 
on two men Dr. Nicholas Butler and Joseph Church. Dr. Butler, 
with whom he had formed a close friendship already, was pledged, by 
the favours he had received from the Archbishop, on the one side, and from 
the King on the other, to act in the interests of both the Church and 
the State ; but his free and frequent intercourse with active and earnest 
Nonconformist ministers in the courageous and self-forgetful service 
they had both rendered to the victims of the Plague throughout the 
Visitation of 1665, would make it easy for him to sound the Noncon- 
formist leaders. Of ' M r . Church,' Sir Joseph's second agent, I have 
found it difficult to get any satisfactory information. 

It is natural to suppose that Williamson would try to enlist one of the 
Nonconformist ministers themselves, so as more readily to secure access 
to Nonconformists for his colleague Dr. Butler. And in Calamy's list 
of the Ejected there are two of the name Church Josiah and Joseph. 

Josiah Church was an Essex minister, who had subscribed the Essex 
Watchword in 1649, as Minister of Sea Church ; had subsequently 
settled at Hackwell (or Hawkwell), and was ejected thence in 1662. 
There is no trace of his ever retiring to or living in London. So 
that there is no ground for suggesting that Josiah Church was 
Williamson's second agent. 

Joseph Church, on the other hand, was a London minister. He 
succeeded a Mr. Wyrley (or Wirley) as Rector of St. Catherine- 
Coleman, Fenchurch Street,* and thence he was ejected in 1662. All 
that Calamy can tell us about him is : * A worthy man, and of good 
* substance till the fire of London consumed it. Afterwards he had but 

* Not (as Palmer has it, in trying to improve on Calamy) St. Catherine's, Cole- 
man Street. The church in Coleman Street was dedicated to St. Stephen, not St. 

Detailed and Expository 

' little to subsist upon : and having many children, was in great straits. 
' He had considerable offers if he would have conformed ; but he chose 
' to remain a poor Nonconformist, rather than hazard the peace of his 
4 conscience. Mr. Papillon* and his lady were great friends to him 
* after his ejectment.' His church (St. Catherine-Coleman's) was 
situated in Fenchurch Street, near its junction with Leadenhall Street ; 
and so was well outside the area of the Great Fire. The fact which 
Calamy mentions, therefore, shows us that he retired after his ejectment 
westwards, and so was living in a more central part of the City. This 
would make it easy for him to arrange tours of visitation with Dr. 
Nicholas Butler, whose home was in Little St. Helen's. The financial 
straits to which he was reduced, moreover, would make him the more 
willing to undertake this little piece of work, especially as he could view 
it as an opportunity of serving his Nonconformist brethren. 

The information we possess on this point I mean, touching William- 
son's employment of Dr. Nicholas Butler and Mr. Church on this delicate 
but important business is derived from the notes which Williamson 
was in the habit of making of the secret intelligence he obtained througli 
his agents, informers, and spies. We should bear in mind, moreover, 
that the leniency of the chief magistrates in London in the years 1669 
and 1671 had attracted to the Metropolis many who were hard pressed 
in the provinces as to a haven of comparative security ; so that a 
considerable number of Nonconforming clergy, provincial as well as 
metropolitan, were living in and about town, presenting an unusual oppor- 
tunity for feeling the Nonconformist pulse throughout the kingdom. 

Dr. Butler is busily engaged in this way in the months of November 
and December of 1671. The first entry is under date November 2 
when for the moment he was looking about for suitable agents in this 
matter when Williamson notes that he met Dr. Butler at dinner, and 
found him already familiar with the inner movements of the Presby- 
terian party. This made him feel that Dr. Butler was the sort of man 
he wanted ; and Williamson evidently at once set Dr. Butler to work 
to get the fullest information he could. There is little doubt, too, that 
Dr. Butler was very energetic in his movements and enquiries ; for only 
nine days later (November nth) we read Williamson's memorandum 
that : ' The meeting-house men have been viewed by the Doctor from 
' house to house, and,' he learns, ' they are a stout, sturdy, dissatisfied 
' people,' and ' fear they have still more heart and indignation towards 
' the Government than some seem to tell us.' Dr. Butler, too, had 
evidently come to the conclusion that timely indulgence would do much 

* His friend Mr. Papillon was a wealthy City man. Evelyn refers to him in the 
Commonwealth time : ' 1656 May 7. In the afternoon I met Alderman Robinson to 
' treat with M r Papillion about the marriage of my cousin Geo. Turke with M" Fon- 
' taine.' And (in the period we are treating of) Pepys refers to him under date 
April 23, 1669 (about two years before Sir Joseph Williamson's employment of 
Dr. Nicholas Butler) : ' I heard M r Papillon make his defence to the King against 
' some complaints of the Farmers of Excise ' (so that he was probably one of the Com- 
missioners of Customs, as Dr. Nicholas Butler, when knighted, afterwards became) ; 
' but it was so weak, and done only by his own seeking that it was more to his injury 
' than profit and made his case the worse (being ill-managed, and in a cause against 
'the King).' 

The Indulgence Documents 189 

to conciliate and win them back to loyalty to the Throne. Williamson's 
suggestive jottings are : ' Concludes whether not better for the King 
4 now himself to offer what is capable to content them. Less will do it 
4 now than hereafter, when stresses are greater with the King.' Shrewdly 
adding : < This was the King his father's case. If you care to capitulate 
4 with the fanatics, they will never agree to reason.' 

Dr. Butler seems to have greater difficulty because less sympathy 
with the Independents than with the Presbyterians. For on November 
1 6, under the heading <B.' (Butler), we find his report that 'They 
c deceive the Independent party by making them believe that they shall 
' have their pardons under the Great Seal without any kind of stipulation 
4 of loyalty, &c., on their part. So Lockyer,* so Rogers.t . . . Not 

* above 6 or 7 all over England. Rogers took the oath before outlawed. 
4 All such promises to be made only to the King, and only to his person 
{ with some witnesses. Secretary Trevor he has found " is theirs." He 
' was, before the Chancellor ' (Clarendon) ' was cast out.' [This 
4 Secretary Trevor' was the Editor of 'Entry Book No. 27,' wherein 
some fifty licences under the Act of Indulgence are entered which do not 
appear in Williamson's * Entry Book No. 3 8 A.'] * These people played 
4 the game into certain hands. If these people shall now have the 
i principal instruments about the King. What will be the end ? They 

* blew up Oliver, R. Cromwell, the Rump, & all. So Rogers was. 
c Jekell such a one.' By the end of November we find that Dr. Butler 
had come into touch with the notorious Colonel Blood. 

At any rate, on December 4, he notes that < Blood publicly claims 
4 D r B. as his intimate.' It seems doubtful, however, whether he had 
done more than interview him, to see how far he can trust Blood or 
make use of him in his dealings with the Nonconformists. We know 
from other sources that Blood had interested himself in some Noncon- 
formists already, notably so in his old acquaintance of Dublin days, John 
Hickes of Devon (for whom, we have seen, he had secured a personal 
interview with the King, with the happiest results) ; but so cautious and 
secretive a man as Dr. Butler would be only feeling his way with him 
at a time when Blood would recklessly claim his friendship, and so try to 
pledge him to connivance and co-operation. Indeed, Williamson under 
the same date reports that c Ennys ' (/.<?., James Innes sen r ), had already 
4 told D r Butler that only 2 or 3 ' presumably among the Dissenters 
4 support Blood,' that is, care to avow any connection with him, or to 
make any use of him. 

It is clear, however, that Blood is trying to force Dr. Butler into this 
course; for the following day (Tuesday, December 5) he called upon 
Dr. Butler in Little St. Helen's, seeking to detach him from his patrons, 

* Lockyer, no doubt, is the Nicholas Lockyer, of whom Palmer's Calamy (1, 102) 
tells us that he was ejected from St. Benet Sherehog. Born in Somerset, he had been 
educated at New Inn Hall, Oxford ; made Chaplain to Oliver Cromwell as Protector ; 
in 1658 appointed Provost of Eton College, as well as Rector of St. Benet Shere- 
hog and preacher at St. Pancras (Soper Lane), which were adjacent to one another in 
Pancras Lane. His provostship he lost soon after the Restoration, and from the rest 
he was ejected in 1662. He was a wealthy man. 

f Doubtless John Rogers, the Fifth Monarchy man, only his biographer knows 
nothing of him after 1665. 

Detailed and Expository 

Arlington and Clifford, and to enlist him for the strong Protestant party 
in the Government, Lauderdale, Ashley, and Buckingham, for under 
date * Dec. 7, Thursday,' Williamson notes : ' That on Tuesday Bl. 
4 came to D r B & Church at Butler's lodgings * magnifying Lord 
'Lauderdale (who was James Innes's patron), saying they understood 
4 one another and he * (Lord Lauderdale) * was the great man.' Dr. Butler, 
however, was in touch with two Scotchmen who were in town, who 
claimed to be kept acquainted with the course things were taking in Scot- 
land, as well as with the tactics of Lauderdale ; and their information was 
that Lauderdale was not heading an opposing party, and left his friends 
free to take what course they thought best. Williamson's jottings are : 

* D r B. says he knows from the two Scotchmen this day that Lord 
' Lauderdale left them to do what they would. D r James Stewart's son 
4 is one of the two. Neither are ministers.' His information, indeed, 
leads him to think little of the usefulness of Blood, for he adds : ' Bl. is 

* quite lost amongst the phanaticks '; which is much the same as saying 
that the more spiritually minded of the Dissenters the Independents 
and the Baptists fight shy of him and place no confidence in him. 
Yet Blood is most certainly trying to press Dr. Butler on the point, 
as : 4 He had appointed ' so Williamson writes * two several people to 
call of him at D r B's house,' that is, to call for him at Dr. Butler's house, 
so as to give the impression that he (Blood) was almost always there. 

Under date December 13 [Wednesday ED.], there is a reference 
which is not easy to understand. He writes : < D r Butler's meeting had 
' gone in the (this) next(?) day, if at their assembly on Monday they had not 
< heard that Sir John Robinson ' (the Lieutenant of the Tower) < had 
' made that search.' The only meaning which can be given to the first 
phrase, on the supposition that the ' D r Butler' spoken of was our 
Dr. Nicholas Butler, is that it was the one particular congregation in 
which he (Dr. Butler), had confessed to having an interest, and which, 
perhaps, he had even sometimes attended. In that case it might well 
be the meeting held in Edward Bushell's house in Little St. Helen's, 
to which Peter Sterry preached. At any rate, in May 16 of the 
following year Sterry had himself secured a licence [E. (117)] for it. 
There is little doubt, however, that it was Dr. Samuel Annesley's, in 
Spitalfields, to the abortive search of which by a messenger of Sir John 
Robinson (Governor of the Tower), Sir Joseph had already made refer- 
ence. Under that same date, December 13, there is a note, which 
seems to imply that Dr. Butler had gone a long way with Blood, for he 
writes : * D r B. maintained him (Blood) long'; but the facts which looked 
that way, probably meant simply that he held Blood in leash for some 
time to see how far he could trust and use him. And there follows 
a detailed account of the Presbyterian Conference held Monday, 
December n, with most interesting thumb-nail sketches of the Presby- 
terian leaders in London which is referred to elsewhere. In this same 
day's jottings is a sentence, which very vividly shows in what an atmo- 
sphere of mutual suspicion these secret agents, informers, and spies, per- 
force spent much of their life and intercourse with each other. 'Ennys' 

* This was in Little St. Helen's. 

The Indulgence Documents 191 

(James Innes sen r ) is a man much cultivated by Dr. Butler's patrons^ 
for he had the ear of Lauderdale, and was personally favoured by the 
King (though a recognized Nonconformist).* Yet 'Ennys and he' 
(Dr. Butler), Williamson notes : c told one another at their reconciliation' 
that 'each other's friends had warned them to beware of one another'; 
and Williamson adds of the man he uses so much, ' Ennys a great rogue.' 

It was only three months after this almost to a day for the 
Declaration of Indulgence was published March 15, 1671-72, that the 
King cast the die and issued that Declaration, by which, claiming 
supremacy in matters ecclesiastical, he suspended all the penal laws ' in 
' matters ecclesiastical against whatsoever sort of non-conformists or 
c recusants '; and three or four days later, the series of letters commence 
from Dr. Butler to Sir Joseph Williamson, which are preserved as an 
integral part of the ' Licence Documents ' in Vols. 320 and 321. Before 
passing to these, however, it is only just to him to observe that the refer- 
ences in Williamson's notes just quoted (p. 1 89), under date November 1 1, 
suggest, if they do not prove that Dr. Butler had an influential part in 
the negotiations and conferences which finally led to the action taken 
by the King in Council. That word 'concludes' followed by the ques- 
tion, ' whether ' it would ' not be better for the King now himself to 
4 offer what is capable to content them,' by implication surely involves 
what I have ventured to state, that Arlington and Clifford had com- 
missioned him to canvass the Nonconformist leaders, not simply to give 
his employers information as to the feelings and attitude of this impor- 
tant section of the King's subjects, but to base thereon some counsel or 
suggestion as to the course it would be wisest to pursue, to allay the Non- 
formists' discontent and secure their loyal devotion to the King. 

The issue of the Declaration exactly embodied Dr. Butler's sug- 
gestion, being an unsolicited act of grace on the part of the King, an 
4 offer ' made on his own initiative, and under the pressure of no Petition 
or Demand on the part of the Dissenters ; so that I cannot think it attrib- 
uting too much influence to him, to say that Dr. Nicholas Butler 
played an important part in bringing the King to take this step. 

The earlier parts of the correspondence which follows confirms this 
conclusion, in the tone of * responsibility ' for the Declaration which 
marks them. On the one hand, personal satisfaction is expressed at 
the cordiality of the welcome accorded it in Addresses presented by the 
Nonconformists, both in oral and written form ; and on the other, he 
gives voice to a personal disappointment and alarm to which when the 
Act is worked grudgingly instead of freely, and the promise to allow 
public buildings to be used for Nonconformist worship is unfulfilled. 
More than this: one letter, chronologically anterior to the series 
preserved in 320 and 321, proves directly that he had been consulted 
seriously on the mode in which the Indulgence was to be worked, and 
the actual form the Licences issued should take. 

It is preserved in S. P. Dom. Car. II. 304 (47), and was written by Dr. 

* He was one and the same (despite the disguise of the strange spelling of his 
name) as Rev. James Innes. Ejected from St. Breock's in Cornwall, but long since 
resident in Westminster, 

1 92 Detailed and Expository 

Butler to Sir Joseph Williamson only four days after the publication of the 
Declaration. It is endorsed in Sir Joseph's own handwriting : ' R. 20, 
'Mar. at noon. Indulgence'; and addressed 'ffor S r Joseph Williamson, 
'Tuesday eleven o'clock.'* But it does not take the form of an 
ordinary letter. The paper has first a list or schedule of seven points 
(evidently points to be observed in administering the Indulgence just 

' i . That there bee some reasonable time given to the 
countries for taking licences. 

' 2. That where noe publick meeting house is y l a private 
one bee allowed, but yet as publick, if they have not fixed 
it at present y l time bee given for it. 

' 3. That they bee licenced to preach in any licenced 

'4. That they be licenced on perticuler occations to 
preach in private families as for fasting or thanksgiveing. 

'5. That all Nonconformist which have not a people, but 
preach occasionally may be licenced, being obliged to set the 
doors open, whenever they shall soe preach. 

' 6. That soe far as with safty may bee, a connivance 
bee had to those whose wild principles suffers them not to 
accept this act of soe great grace. 

'7. That the way of obtaining the licence bee not made 
burdensome nor troublesome.' 

The letter follows below it : 

[J. W.] 

' Quaker 
5 mono: 

'I have sent the above sooner then agreed, y* they may bee 
comunicated to theese two honor ble persons f that since the longitude 
was not found, an early timeing of it, y l it may be helped in its latitude. 
If they can add anything further y* will oblige, I think they cannot do 
our King better servis. If the first perticular bee declared, then may be 
added yt noe Nonconformist shall dare to preach after such time without 
licence, and that all bee freely invited to take licence, as well thoese 
without a people as with, & y l from time to time it shall be free for any 
to take out a licence, and y 1 such which have not a congregation shall 
give their habitation or usuall place of aboed ; & when they shall at any 
time have a people, then bee obliged to give in the place. 

'By this means, all will have a dependency upon his Majesty; all 
the ministers must be gratifyed or at least not Disobliged, if you will 
have a continued content if you have the ministers you have all. If to 
this great act of grace were added a way for y e people to come at justice 
in Law cases in a short time, I think it would bee beyond y e power of 
the devill & bad men to give his Majesty any disturbance in his King- 
domes. If I mistake not theese things will abundantly please, and 

* This Tuesday was March 19, 1671-72, 

f Was it the two Secretaries of State, Lord Arlington and Sir John Trevor, or the 
two members of the Cabal who took most interest in the Indulgence, Arlington and 
Clifford ? 

The Indulgence Documents 193 

through some perverse laws (lovers may have leave to speak). Since I 
was 24 years which now is 20 moe, I have been in a maner wholy 
taken of thoughts of selfe, and have beene willing to busy my troubled 
thoughts in ye consideration how I might serve god in my generation. 
Yet I know not why I should not have the same liberty Lord Ross 
enjoyeth. But I beg your pardon for this digression, & for what other 
things may bee amiss, assuring you if anything bee which pleaseth not, 
'tis error in judgement, not in will 

* S r I am ever your unfeignedly 


' Haue a care of taking a second ring. 
The declaration for war is much liked. 
Your punctuall houre for tomorrow & 
bee you soe :' 

From a subsequent letter of Dr. Butler's to Sir Joseph [320 (5), 
dated March 27], it seems that when on Friday, March 15, the King 
and Arlington actually issued the Declaration of Indulgence, they had 
generally arranged to give attendance at W hitehall for business accruing 
under the Indulgence once a week on Fridays, and had instructed 
Dr. Butler to draft a scheme of particulars as to the way the Indulgence 
would be most wisely worked to secure the end they had in view, which 
might be brought before them for consideration at their first 'Indul- 
gence ' meeting a week later, viz., Friday, March 22. 

Dr. Butler had evidently set about the work at once, and having the 
draft complete by Tuesday he thought it wise to send the draft to Sir 
Joseph, to place privately in the hands of Arlington and Trevor or Clifford, 
' these two honorable persons,' so as to be prepared to recommend them 
(or otherwise) to the King at the Council on Friday. 

The reason given ' for sending the recommendations sooner than 
'agreed,' is expressed in metaphors not easy of interpretation. The refer- 
ence to 'the longitude' of the indulgence not being found, probably means 
that as the ' term ' of grace or opportunity offered the number of days 
or months within which application must be made if a licence is to be 
granted had not been decided upon, an early presentation of the pro- 
positions would be likely to hasten the date of their adoption, and help 
the latitude or breadth of their application. It is specially worthy of 
note that this document abundantly proves the point already urged, 
viz., that with the authors of this Indulgence, and most assuredly with 
Dr. Butler, the motive of it was much more one of policy than principle. 
It was not religious liberty that was aimed at so much as an increase of 
loyalty and devotion to Charles ; and so in every particular the licences 
were framed as an act of Royal grace and favour to the individual, so that 
' all will have a dependency upon his Majesty ' and as they realize the 
sweetness of relief from persecution, they may feel themselves bound in 
common gratitude to their benefactor, to pledge themselves to loyal 
fidelity to the Throne. 

The suggestions drafted by Dr. Butler were all approved except the 
fifth, which licensed occasional preachers (/.*., those who had no 

194 Detailed and Expository 

flocks) binding them * to set the doors open ' of the house or meeting- 
place in which they preached. In this case, the negative was wider 
and more liberal than the affirmative, since every man who had a 
4 general licence ' was licensed not to preach in his own house (as 
apparently is here suggested, provided that when he did so he left his 
doors open), but to preach in any licensed place. He could not therefore 
preach in his own house, unless he secured a licence for it as an 
4 allowed ' meeting-place, and in that case it was open for all who cared 
to come, and for any licensed teacher to teach in. Though that was 
denied him, a larger liberty was accorded to him, viz., to preach in 
any allowed place where he might be asked or permitted to do so by the 

The first suggestion was carried out, but its provision was extended 
far beyond Dr. Butler's suggestion. Evidently the first idea was that a 
day should be fixed before which anyone who desired a licence must 
send in his application, and Dr. Butler was anxious that the day should 
be made a distant one, so that ample time might be allowed for the news 
of the Indulgence to reach the more secluded parts of the provinces ('the 
country es,' or 'counties'), and for country Nonconformists to have time 
to make up their minds whether they would care to avail themselves of 
the Indulgence or no. As a fact, no time-limit was fixed at all ; and as 
long as the Indulgence lasted it was open for anyone, whether they ' had 
' a people ' or not /.*., whether they were pastors of congregations or 
Nonconformist teachers without charges, to apply for a licence, and, 
if ' approved,' to get one. 

The second point is notable, as presupposing that the number of 
meeting-houses or chapels already erected and regularly used for Non- 
conformist worship was considerable, and that it would be chiefly for 
these that licences would be asked when it was desired to license a 
meeting-place. No doubt there were many in and about London, and 
many more in Yorkshire and Lancashire ;* but of the hundreds for which 
licences were sought and obtained, by far the greater proportion were 
private houses. 

The third item simply described the scope of a * general ' licence. 

The fourth item it is not at all easy to understand. Whose fancy 
or wishes was it supposed to meet ? We see from the letter [320 (5)], 
which I have already cited (written eight days after this), that Dr. 
Butler's point was granted. The first sentence in the letter makes 
much of it : ' The words for y 1 perticular is agreed as I gave it, viz. y 4 

* they bee licenced upon exterordinary family occations, to keepe a day 

* of fast or thanksgiving in a private family with a moderate number.' 
[The clause as drafted above is not verbally identical with this : in 

some respects being more definite, and in others rather laxer. ' That 
' they be licensed on perticular occations to preach in private families as 
' for fasting or thanksgiving.'] The one point in which this seemed a 
strange (and rather perilous) departure from the whole scheme of the 
Indulgence, was this, that by special licence Nonconformist services 
might be held with prayer and worship, and preaching in private houses 

* As many as fourteen meeting-houses in Lancashire were licensed. 

The Indulgence Documents 195 

with closed doors. Of course, one of the points strongly insisted on in 
the Declaration was that all of these licensed Nonconformist services 
must be public ; held with open doors, so that any passer-by, and any 
official of Church or State, might freely enter, to see what was done 
and to hear whatever was said, as the best safeguard that could be 
devised against anything seditious, dangerous, or heretical. Yet here 
that safeguard was to be remitted on particular occasions. The inten- 
tion of it may have been simple and innocent enough ; that in case of 
sickness little services of sympathy and intercession, or a funeral service 
in the case of death, might be conducted by a Nonconformist minister in 
the house; or that in connection with a wedding, or the baptism of a 
child, a religious service might be held with friends or relatives, with- 
out throwing open the doors to the public. Still, there was the danger 
that in that special privacy, under * pretence of religion, 7 a seditious 
gathering might be held. 

Or was it (as I have sometimes thought) an astute device for circum- 
venting the clause of the Declaration, which made the Indulgence for 
public services apply only to Protestants, by giving the Roman Catholics 
a chance under pretext of some * perticular occation ' to hold a Papist 
service ' with a moderate number ' a very elastic phrase ! in the 
seclusion of a private house ? * 

The sixth point showed the length to which Dr. Butler was prepared 
to go, or rather the latitude he would give to the Royal Indulgence. He 
knew that Quakers would never ask a licence, and he thought it prob- 
able that the Fifth Monarchy men would scarcely do so either, as well 
as some of the more c fanatical ' Baptists and Independents. 

With regard to the letter which follows these * Seven Points ' : the 
first part has been incidentally dealt with in my comments on the items 
of the scheme presented. Only it may be further noted, that in his 
suggestion, that to the first particular it might * be added y fc noe 
' Nonconformist shall dare to preach after such time without a licence.' 
Dr. Butler is echoing the last clause of the Declaration : and this also, 
that in the actual working of the Indulgence, no time-limit being laid 
down, from first to last, any Nonconformist who had not secured and 
could not shew a licence was liable to be < proceeded against with all 
< imaginable severity,' who ' dared ' or ' presumed ' either to preach him- 
self or to allow Nonconformist services to be held in his house. No 
steps seem to have been taken to abbreviate the Law's delay, or to lessen 
its costliness. The sentence touching ' perverse laws ' I cannot interpret 
as it stands. 

The concluding clauses have a special interest in their bearing on 
Dr. Butler's personal career. We learn his age when he wrote it, and 
hence the date of his birth. As to the crisis which he professes to have 
passed through when he reached his twenty-fourth year, any comment 
must be conjectural. But two things are worth noting. The year 
1652, to which this crisis belonged, was the year in which the Puritan, 
Arthur Barham, was presented by Sir John Langham to the living of 

* Rev. A. Gordon suggests that this clause simply proposed licences ad hoc for 
special occasions, though neither teacher nor place was otherwise licensed. 

196 Detailed and Expository 

St. Helen's, Bishopsgate, a sphere in which he exercised a powerful 
ministry till his ejection in 1662. We know that Nicholas Butler was 
living in the parish in 1665. If, then, he was living there, as early as 
these Commonwealth times, it may well have been that * his being in a 
' manner wholly taken off all thoughts of self was due to the powerful 
preaching of the Puritan vicar, though it must be added that the facts 
of his after career show that any critical change which he dates from 
that time was a very superficial one. For him to profess that for ten 
years past he had been living a ' selfless ' life, looks very much like 
4 cant ' and < hypocrisy.' 

If he had really learned to live a selfless ' life, troubling himself 
only about serving God in the service of others, that noble stage of his 
life-history must have reached its * grand climacteric' in 1665, a d 
expended itself in his heroic ministry to the poor victims of the Great 
Plague. For, as early as 1669 he was working this 'unselfish ministry ' 
for all it was worth to secure a degree from Cambridge, and a licence 
as a physician. The only principle which can give the changing 
phases of his after career any coherence or consistency is that after 1665 
he was wholly taken up with thoughts of self, and that he was willing 
to do anything or undo anything, to say anything or unsay it, which 
would procure his advancement in society or in the body politic. It is a 
hard thing to say, but facts seem to call for it, that, after 1665, he seems 
to have been sure that he was serving ' god ' in his generation only 
when he was serving self, gaining wealth and < kudos ' by eager pro- 
fessions that all he cared for was to serve the King, the Church, and 
the State. 

That sentence about his ' liberty ' and * Lord Ross' shows that thus 
early in the year (March) he was troubled by comments and whispered 
slanders about his second marriage, and was brooding over the way 
in which he could put his case in a petition to the King. The case of 
Lord Ross is referred to in a very vivid and illuminating fashion by 
Evelyn in his Diary. Under date March 22, 1670, he writes : 

' I went to Westminster, where in the house of Lords I saw his 
Majesty sit on his throne, but without his robes, all the Peeres sitting 
with their hatts on ; the business of the day being the divorce of my 
lord Rosse. Such an occasion and sight had not been scene in England 
since the time of Hen. VIII.' The footnote runs : 

'When there was a project, 1669, ^ or g ett i n g a divorce for the 
King, to facilitate it, there was brought into the House of Lords a bill 
for dissolving the marriage of Lord Rosse, on account of adultery, and to 
give him leave to marry again. This bill, after great debates, passed by 
the plurality of only two votes, and that by the great industry of the 
Lord's friends, as well as the Duke's enemies, who carried it on chiefly 
in hopes it might be a precedent, and inducement for the King to enter 
the more easily into their late proposals ; nor were they a little 
encouraged therein, when they saw the King countenance and drive on 
the bill in Lord Rosse's favour. Of 18 Bishops that were in the 
Hcuse, only two voted for the bill' [Dr. Cosin, Bishop of Durham, and 

The Indulgence Documents 197 

Dr. Wilkins, Bishop of Chester], ' of which one voted through age, and 
one was reputed a Socinian.' 

To Sir Joseph's own second marriage, too, he must be alluding 
when he appends that postscript warning: 'Have a care of taking a 

* second ring.' Was it because Sir Joseph was already showing too 
eager attentions to Lady O'Brien, whom he actually married on her 
husband's death in 1678 ? 

It was early days to comment on the reception of the news of the 
declaration of war. It was only on the i6th of March that war was 
declared against the Dutch, and he is writing but three days later. The 
last sentence bespeaks no doubt a good point in his character, which 
must have very much helped his advancement, though it says little for 
the clearness of his composition. ' Your punctuall houre for tomorrow ' 
means, of course, that he would keep his appointment with Sir Joseph 
to the minute : < bee you soe ' is his bungling way of pressing Sir 
Joseph to do the same. 

Whether they met on the 2Oth or not as arranged we have no 
documentary evidence. Yet either then or on the following day, 
' suggestions were made to modify or add to his y-points ' ; and he was 
afraid that Sir Joseph might offer the King a draft, * mutilated' or 
' amended,' in directions which he did not approve, and for which he 
did not wish to be held responsible. So on the morning of Friday the 
22nd (the date on which the King, Arlington, and Clifford, were to 
meet at Whitehall on this Indulgence business), he wrote Sir Joseph the 
following note : 

320 (3) 

It is endorsed in Sir Joseph's handwriting : 

' 22 Mar. 167^ 
' D^. B. 

4 Indulgence.' 
It is addressed : 

' For Sir Joseph Williamson,' and reads : 

< March y e 22 th , 7 \. 

'I humbly desire his majesty and thoese two honourable persons 
may see the whole I writ, and noe more ; since I was with you I had 
severall with mee & as confident I am as y* I am alive all will bee well 
for y e glory of god, the good of his majesty & people & still hope & 
doubt not y e church of England will still flourish if they bee but 
prudent, pardon this trouble & I shall ever bee, as you have abundantly 
obliged mee 


4 Your most faithfull 

4 most unfeigned frend 

'to love honour & serve you 

* I shall not continue 
thus to trouble you 
forgive this.' 

198 Detailed and Expository 

_ . . 

The council was duly held that same afternoon ; but evidently they 
could not come to complete agreement in their conclusions. 

Already there were some who wanted to restrict the issue of licences 
to those who < had a people,' so lessening the number of the licences 
issued. There might be this added reason, that those who had yielded 
to the pressure of the prosecution under the recent penal legislation, and 
had left their flocks, many of them finding refuge in London, would by 
this restriction be permanently silenced, and so the poison of their influ- 
ence be lessened. So he writes the very next day, to press his point, 
that unattached ministers should be allowed a general licence, if they so 
desired. He does it, too, in terms which in their growing freedom and 
humour show that he feels surer of his ground with Sir Joseph, and is 
becoming, or that he fancies he is becoming, more intimate and 
influential with him. 

Here it is : 

320 (4) 

It is endorsed again in Sir Joseph's own handwriting : 

'23 Mar. i6yj R. 
<Dr. B. 

4 Indulgence/ 
Addressed : < For S r Joseph Williamson,' and reads : 

< March y e 23 th 7 J 
' My dear S r Joseph, 

4 1 have not neither shall ever desire to have any besid(e)s your 
selfe to comunicate with, therefore for a little time, till this great 
matter bee fixed you must take y e trouble instead of y 1 one which I may 
yeild is not soe consistent as it ought to bee. I offer yt all non- 
conformists which have not a people if they desire it may have licence 
to preach in any licenced place. I have three reasons to enforce it 
which I think when I tell them will seeme good & soe prove. I have 
spread his majesties pleasure amoung the severall perswasions, which will 
bee I doubt not effectually answered soe soone as possibly can bee, & for 
licences they will readily come after there address is made. 

'I am, 

' Yours whilst my owne, 


4 1 am not free 
(according to the quakers) 
to write my reasons.' 

Dr. Butler's anxiety to preserve secrecy in these negotiations, and his 
incognito does not give us a very favourable impression. Who c that 
< one ' may be whom he treats with a neuter gender, as though he were ' a 
4 thing' instead of a person, insinuating that he was not < soe consistent ' 
as he ought to be, we should extremely like to know. Was it * Blood ' ? 
or was it ' Church ' ? of whom we have not a word in all these 
Indulgence documents, although Dr. B. was closely associated with 
him in all the preliminary negotiations. 

The Indulgence Documents 199 

He is evidently in pretty constant intercourse with Whitehall, for 
he notes in his next letter what proves the large success attending his 
draft-suggestions. The fourth point is now agreed upon. What 
critical comments seemed necessary have been already passed upon it 

(P- 193)- 

The second part of the letter takes a ' begging ' form ; sure proof 

that Dr. Butler is beginning to feel assured of his ground with Sir 

The postscript shows that he wishes to keep his visits to White- 
hall, and his activity in this matter as private and secret as may be. 
The <N ' was his cryptic signature in his correspondence with Sir Joseph, 
or rather the cypher -^fc^. 

Who was the * ould friend ' who had better keep aloof ? Is it * yt 
c one which,' in his previous letter, ' he yeilds is not soe consistent as it 
' ought to bee ?' i.*., either < Mr. Church,' or Colonel Blood ? In 
that case, is not ' our frend ' who with him was to ' waite ' upon Sir 
Joseph ' on the other side the water ' the other of the two ? May I 
suggest that it was * M r . Church ' who had better not ( meddle ' any 
more with the affair ? and that Colonel Blood went with him to see Sir 
Joseph in Southwark ? 

This next letter is 320 (5), and, singularly enough, is not endorsed. 
Was it that because of its peculiarly confidential character he did not 
intend it to be docketed with the other letters ? 

It reads : 

* Mar. 27 : 72 


' The words for yt perticuler is agreed as I gave it, viz 1 y l they 
bee licenced upon exterordinary family occations, to keepe a day of fast 
or thanksgiving in a private family with a moderate number. 

' Thursday morn, they meet generall(y) to subscribe, &, suppose, 
friday waite upon lAA's soe forwards. 

'Soe I am necessitated to beg one favor, liberty for one Thomas 
King, hee is a house carpenter married our chambormaid 3 years agoe. 
by her hath 2 children which all live upon his labour. I was her father 
at manage. I know you cannot be leather to bee troubled then I am 
to doe it, but you shall have my word I shall scarce doe y e like againe. 
I suppose hee meanes S r John Robinson's * man is master of y e vessel 

4 1 most unfeignedly 

< your true lover 

' 1 doubt not but this 
day will bee well kept.' 

321 (5 I.) 

4 Let your meeting N t bee kept private & let it not bee mentioned 
to our friend, if there should bee further occation which should 

* Sir John Robinson was Governor of the Tower. 
f N. is Dr. Butler's cryptic symbol for himself. 

2OO Detailed and Expository 

necessitate a meeting againe then our true & ould frend shall bee 
tould, but as I hinted 'twill bee advantage that hee meddl(e) not, when 
our friend & I waite upon you remember 'tis the other side y e water, is 
S r Robert Carr a Chymist. I like Chymist acquaintance 

4 burne this.' 

One would like to know how Dr. Butler came to know Sir Robert 
Carr. Both Evelyn and Pepys allude to him, and their notes suggest the 
true solution of the problem. 

In 1664 Evelyn, on May 5th, notes that Sir Robert Carr was 
courting Arlington's sister (Arlington was then only Sir Henry Bennett, 
but already Secretary of State). In 1667 Pepys (under date July 29) 
refers to the fact that it was at Sir Robert Carr's house that Sir H. 
Bellasses and Tom Porter had been spending the evening, when, 
"nflamed with wine, they picked a quarrel and fought a duel, severely 
wounding each other (though they had been life-long friends). Pepys 
explaining that at Sir Robert's Carr's ' it seems all people doe drink 
* high.' In 16685 too (under date April 25), Pepys mentions him as 
speaking hardly of Lord Sandwich. But the most interesting allusion is 
the one made by Evelyn this very month of March, 1672. 

It was the 1 2th of the month, when Shaftsbury was deprived of the 
post of Lord High Treasurer. The King was inclined to give it to 
Clifford, and in the end did so, but Arlington wanted the King to put 
the Treasurership in commission, that the honours and emoluments 
might be divided, and that Arlington's brother-in-law, Sir Robert Carr, 
Bart., might be made one of the Commissioners of the Treasury. 
Arlington engaged the good services of the Duke of York to further his 
project. But it did not succeed, and in consequence there was always 
a coolness between the two after Clifford had received the appoint- 
ment as Lord High Treasurer. It was no doubt through Sir Joseph 
Williamson that Dr. Butler had been brought into Sir Robert Carr's 

That sentence, c I like Chymist acquaintance,' is very natural to one 
who like Dr. Butler was ' doctor of physic,' and was probably also a 
dealer in drugs and medical preparations. In such professional and 
commercial connection he would of necessity form many ' Chymist 
4 acquaintance.' 

The last clause, ' burne this,' confirms my conjecture as to Sir 
Joseph's reason for not * endorsing ' this letter. He meant perhaps^ to 
observe Dr. Butler's request ; but spite its not being endorsed for 
' docketting,' it had got folded and tied up with Dr. B's other letters for 
preservation and reference. 

The paper which follows is a note addressed to Lord Arlington on 
the morning of the next Council at Whitehall. Friday, March 29. 

Dr. Butler is anxious that Lord Arlington should know authentically 
how well the movement had begun. The previous day the King had 
granted the Nonconformists of London two audiences for the oral pre- 
sentation of their thanks for the Declaration. From Sir Joseph William- 
son's Diary we learn that the King received 3, if not 4, Congrega- 

The Indulgence Documents 201 

tionalists in the morning, and 4 Presbyterians in the afternoon ; both 
in the Chief Secretary's Rooms at Whitehall. The entry, of course, 
is very condensed and bald. It runs as follows : 

* Thursday 28. 

* Nonconformist Ministers thanked y e King 

* in y e morning Dr. Owen 


* in y e afternoone Manton 

4 both in Lord Arlington's Lodgings.' 

The above were the leaders of the two parties in London. 

(i) <Dr. Owen' was Dr. John Owen, ex- V ice-Chancellor of Oxford, 
now resident in Charterhouse Yard ; < Griffith' was George Griffith, who 
had been minister of the Charterhouse and lecturer at St. Bartholomew's 
Exchange and was now minister in Addle Street ; 'Palmer' was Anthony 
Palmer, who had been ejected from Bourton-on-the- Water, but had 
come up to London in 1664, and preached both in Broad Street and on 
London Bridge. All these were decided Congregational ists. ' Sim ' 
must be Wm. Simms, Kingston- on-Thames, or could it be Dr. Singleton 
of Queenhithe ? The latter was a Congregationalist. [W. Simms was 
a Presbyterian who had been ejected from Leicester, but had retired to 
Wimbledon; while there was reported in '69 as preaching at Ewell; 
and this year '72 was licensed as a Presbyterian teacher in Kingston- 

Of the Presbyterian deputation, ' Manton ' was Dr. Thomas Manton, 
who ministered still to many of his old parishioners in Covent Garden ; 
< Bates ' was Dr. William Bates, unattached to any definite * place ' or 

* people,' but the silver-tongued preacher, who had been ejected from 
St. Dunstan's, Fleet Street ; < Jacombe ' is Dr. Thomas Jacomb, 
who had been ejected from St. Martin's, Ludgate Hill, and who was 
now chaplain to the Dowager Countess of Exeter, living with her in 
Little Britain ; and < Seyman ' was Dr. Lazarus Seaman, of Hammer- 

The first three of this Presbyterian quartette were known to 
Williamson as the leaders of the < Dons ' men who had more influence 
with the gentry, had taken the Oxford oath, and assumed pre-eminence 
among the Presbyterians of the Metropolis ; and were opposed by the 
4 Ducklings ' men such as Annesley, Vincent, Watson and Janeway 
who had not forsworn the endeavour to effect changes in Church and 
State, were reckoned of less account socially, but did not fear the water, 
and ' who thought that they made up ' for their lack of social influence 
c by their popularity and interest of the middling people' (Williamson's 
notes, Dec. 13, 1671). 

Sir Joseph does not say in this bald entry how they were received by 

202 Detailed and Expository 

-- , ._.-- 

the King, or how he took their Thanks. But Dr. Butler had evidently 
interviewed them afterwards, and found that Charles had been very 
courteous and generous to them, expressing himself as well pleased with 
their loyal gratitude ; while they were delighted with the King's recep- 
tion quite effusive in their rekindled loyalty to him. He had gone at 
once to Sir Joseph Williamson to tell him how well all had turned out ; 
and Dr. Butler was anxious, wrote to Lord Arlington to tell him that 
he had seen Sir Joseph ; and to urge upon him the most liberal inter- 
pretation of the Indulgence and the most generous issue of licences 
under it. Here follows the note itself. 

It is reproduced in Vol. I. as 320 (6), and is Endorsed (in Sir Joseph's 
handwriting. ED.) . 

'29 Mar. 1672 

' Dr. B. My Ld. 


It is addressed : ' For y e Right Hon ble L rd . Arlington ' ; and reads : 

'Mar: y e 29 th 1672 
' Right Hon ble 

'I did last night acquaint S r Joseph Williamson, with what' 
abundance of Kindnes y e dissenters received his majesties acceptance of 
a verball thankes. I only further offer y l there is noe thing can bind 
them in Loyalty more to his Majesty then to let their Licences bee 
large & free from intanglements. A little love obligeth more than great 

' I beg your honors pardon for this bouldness. 

' Your Honors most humble 

' most faithfull servant, 

The project is now well launched. The Licence forms were all 
settled (the actual drafts are preserved in 320) and printed by the follow- 
ing day, March 30, and on Monday, April I. Many were filled in and 
ready for signature next day, April 2. 

This date Tuesday, April 2, 1672 is memorable in the annals of 
Nonconformity, as the day on which the first Licences were issued 
under the Declaration of Indulgence. Sir Joseph Williamson specially 
notes it in his Diary : 


' Tuesday 2. 
' Mr. Jenkins takes out his Licences to preach 

the first that was taken out. 
' Tiverton ) ,. 

Exeter " * lcences to Congreg 11 way sent down.' 

As a matter of fact, the half-dozen Sir Joseph notes were only 
prints inter pares. For no less than seventy-five licences are entered 
in E. as issued that same day, and no less than forty-two of them 
for London. 'Mr. Jenkins* was William Jenkins, who had been 

The Indulgence Documents 203 

ejected from Christ Church, Newgate Street, and was now a Presby- 
terian minister of Home Alley, Aldersgate Street. To both Tiverton 
and Exeter a pair of licences was sent : for Tiverton, a Licence for 
Theophilus Polewheile as Teacher, and one for the house of Peter Bere ; 
and in the case of Exeter, a licence for Lewis Stuckley as Teacher, and 
another for Nicholas Savery's house as the meeting-place for him to 
preach in. 

The next letter in the series belongs to the day following this first 
issue of licences viz., April 3.* It is addressed (like most of the 
series) to Sir Joseph. 

Before citing this letter, however, we must note that 320 (25) is 
really one of Dr. Butler's memoranda. It is not in his hand-writing, 
but it must have been *put in' by him. It is an application for six 
licences ; and appended to the Entry of each of them on E. (3) and E. (4), 
we have the note ' Desired by D r . Butler, &c.' They are for Edward 
West (person and house) in Ropemakers' Alley, Little Moorfields; 
D r . Samuel Annesley (person and house) in. Spittlefields ; and for John 
Milward and Robert Chambers (general licences). 

The letter I now cite shews Dr. Butler's eagerness to make the 
project succeed : 

* Under this date we have an interesting entry in Sir Joseph's Diary which calls 
for explanation : 

' 3 Wednesday. 


4 Licences 2 preach- 

to Sims. ' 

[The curious abbreviation of ' to ' to the numeral ' 2 ' is worth noting, as belonging 
to an order of abbreviation rather characteristic of that day, which in the names of 
the months gave ' 7 ber ,' 8 ber ,' 'g 1 *',' ' io ber ,' for September, October, November, and 
December.] The licences to the first five names are all entered as dated the previous 
day (April 2), so that their mention thus, followed by the words 'to Sims,' would 
naturally mean that Sims doubtless the W. Sims who himself was licensed for 
Kingston-on-Thames was staying the week in town, called for them at Whitehall, 
and that by Sir Joseph's instruction they were handed over to him ('to Sims'). 
From the notes in the Entry Book, however, it would appear that it was only his 
own two licences which were handed 'to Sims' (see notes on E. (3), 'delivered 
M r Sims himselfe'), and the rest were handed ' to y* partyes Themselves' (see note 
just above). 

The first two on the list, ' Madockes ' and ' Vincent/ were both of Bartholomew 
Lane (City). ' Madockes ' is William Maddocks ; and ' Vincent' is Thomas Vincent 
(not his younger brother, Nathaniel), whose meeting-place is Mr. Broome's house in 
Hand's Alley, Bishopsgate Street Without. Of their application we have no record. 
The application for the other three is preserved in 320 (24). Unsigned and undated, 
it is yet evident that the applications from these Londoners were considered of 
special importance, as the endorsement is in Sir Joseph's hand ; and he has ap- 
pended to the entry of five of them on p. 3 of E. the note, Delivered These above 
to y e partyes Themselves Ap. 3: 72 ' (the date of this entry in his Diary). ' Sharp,' 
we see, is Thomas Sharpe, of King's Head Court, Beech Lane, Cripplegate ; 
4 Blackey ' is Nicholas Blakey, of Blackfriars ; and ' Cawton ' is Thomas Cawton, of 
St. Ann's, Westminster. 

The sixth (a meeting-place for Mr. Blakey) was not forthcoming, and Mr. Blakey 
seems to have returned to Whitehall for it, under the aegis of Colonel Blood ; for so 
I interpret the note appended to the entry by Sir Joseph on E, (4) : ' desired by 
' M r Blakey, who was brought by M r Blood.' 

204 Detailed and Expository 

---- " -- - ------- .-_... . mj-r^- .. -. r. -.I.. T-. _ _____ ._- __ . ________ _ . -. ----- 

320 (31). 

Endorsed: 4 R. 3 Apr. 1672 

4 D' . B. 

4 Indulgence.' 
Addressed : ' For Sir Joseph Williamson. 

4 Apr: y e 3 rd 1672 
4 Deare S r ., 

4 I desire by this bearer you please to send mee a coppy of licences, 
& appoint when I may not faile to waite upon you this night or tomor- 
row night in order to take licences for some frinds & to communicate 
some thing farther : out of sight out of mind. Where is y r p(ro)tection. 
I will not be knowne to s;et licence for any therefore I pray secrecy. 

4 ever your most unfeigned 

' frend to love honor & serve you 

The copy of licences (of each of the three kinds) I presume he wanted 
to show * enquirers,' that they might see the particulars which were 
required duly to fill them in. The last sentences show that he was 
anxious that his friends in the Establishment should have no inkling of 
what he had been doing hitherto, and specially anxious that none of 
them should know that he was actively engaged in making the Declara- 
tion a success. 

But of his energy in this direction the next letter [320 (33)] gives 
ample evidence, 

It is Endorsed by Sir Joseph himself. 

4 4 Ap. 1672. 

<Dr. B. 

4 Harrison : Essex. 
4 Marshall: Yorkesh;' 
is Addressed : ' For S r Joseph Williamson,' and reads : 

e 4 t, 72 

4 My dear S r Joseph 

4 pray by this bearer send thoese licenses & y e originall of thoese 
two addresses, & by this post, I will god willing, send coppies into 
severall parts & returne y e originalls. 

4 Oh ! y 1 some thing could bee done as to civills would set, though 
not a triple, yet a double Crowne upon his Majesties head, pray send 
mee a licence also for John Harrisson presbiterian licence for his house 
Pedmash in Essex, hee is M r West father-in-law, as alsoe for M r Martiall 
for an house in Topliffe in Yorkshire presbiterian. 

4 1 will promote Addresses by all friends. 

god bles(s) his Majesty for his act which undoubtedly will prove an 
healing to his nation. You know 

4 1 am 

4 Protection. < Yours most unfeignedly 

I will not say 

The Indulgence Documents 205 

'tis forgetfulness but many busines(s) 

but may bee I am charitable beyond reason. 

I am free to pay y e porter and hope you beelieve 

I doe not expect to be repaid by any.' 

[On the back.] 

' When you have leisure to spend halfe an houre with noe leave I 
may shew you some thing worth y e view, burne this.' 

' Thoese licenses ' he asks Sir Joseph to send by bearer must be the 
six he * put in ' for in 320 (25), and this letter shows that beside these 
four London 'clients,' he now has two further clients in the 'countries' 
or provinces : John Harrison, of Pedmash in Essex, and Christopher 
Marshal (1), of Morley and Topliffe in Yorkshire (West Riding). 

The odd thing is, however, that both are entered as already issued, 
'Ap. 2.' They must have been applied for by some one else : but not 
having been secured (*.*., taken away from Whitehall) he is asked, no 
doubt, to use his influence to get them. They were made out at once, 
and handed to his messenger with the other six. Hence Sir Joseph 
Williamson's notes in the Entry Book, appended to each of these eight 
' entries, ' Desired by D r Butler and sent him, Ap. 4 th .' 

The two addresses referred to in this letter are, I imagine, the 
addresses sent from Tiverton and Exeter ; ; n response to which the four 
licences I referred to just now had been sent down. 

Dr. Butler apparently wanted the originals of them that he might 
have them before him while sketching a model preamble to send to those 
who were at all inclined to give this proof of the loyalty and gratitude to 
the King, which had been evoked in the hearts of Nonconformists by his 
Declaration of Indulgence. The 'protection' he had 'queried' in his 
previous letter he refers to again in the postscript to this ; and meant 
evidently the protection from the prying criticism of his Anglican 
friends which ' secrecy ' alone could secure him. 

He seems to think that Sir Joseph had ' forgotten ' his pledge, and 
had inadvertently referred to him by name. In that last sentence of the 
postscript, urging his generosity to the ' porters,' and his own ' cleanness 
' of palm,' I can hardly refrain the fear that he ' protests too much.' 

This same day the 4th of April (two days after the first batch of 
Licences were issued) Dr. Nicholas Butler wrote a letter indicating his 
willingness to act as Agent for those in the provinces. 

It is cited by Dr. B. Nightingale in the Introduction to his ' The 
Ejected of 1662 in Cumberland & Westmorland, their Predecessors & 
Successors,' p. 57. He extracted it from Jerom Murch's 'Presbyterian 
and General Baptist Churches in the West of England' (p. 378). It is 
headed : 

' Letter from Mr. Butler of London to a Dissenter in the County,' 
and Mr. Murch says that ' in all probability this Dissenter lived in 
' Lancashire.' 

' Lond. Ap. 4 th '72 

' I am not unmindful of friends, and therefore thought good to offere 
my service to you and any of your brethren, in order to procuring 

206 Detailed and Expository 

licenses. [They] shall cost nothing. Our London ministers have 
returned thankes, and most have already taken out their licences. Its 
expected that someth: by way of addresse be sent from those in the 
countrey. 2 examples I have sent you, coppyed by my men from the 
original! : the places must be mentioned and so licensed, the name of 
the minister and his Persuasion, and so he wid [would] not only be 
licensed to this place, but to all places whatever we have licensed. If 
you please you may direct your letter to mee in little St. Hellens in 
Bishopsgate Street 



* Your loving friend 


This letter shows how promptly and eagerly he is fulfilling his pro- 
mise to Sir Joseph. It is written the very same day. 

The next letter in the Whitehall series was written four days later. 
It has somehow got misplaced in the volumes of State Papers. It is 
bound up in 321, as 197 A in that Volume because of the erroneous date 
prefixed to it. Dr. Butler has by a slip of the pen written ' Feb. y e 8 th 
72.' (O.S.) ; and this has been interpreted as meaning, in N.S., Feb. 8, 
1673, and so is placed in 321. 

It is accordingly calendared 321 (19?A); but its proper date is given 
in the Endorsement : 

'8 Ap. 1672, 

<D r B. 

It is addressed : * For Sir Joseph Williamson. 

4 5 licences 

. y e 8th 72 

' Indeed you bee a naughty man to send mee foure of six unsigned 
pray returne them mended. I pray licence for 

4 1. M r Samuell Slater M r of Arts, for his house in Walthamstow 

a generall licence 

2. for M r Elias pedger M r of Arts of London 

3. the same for M r Peeter Winke M r of Arts of London 

& forget not him in my last 

4. M r George Swinhow his house in Weedred in the parish of 

Ammersham in Bucks, all presbiterian 

5. M r Christopher Martiall is congregationall which I mistooke, & 

you may alter, if you please 
4 1 have an address, which I think best to deliver you and not to send. 

The Indulgence Documents 207 

I would speak with you at your leisure as to M r Chambre. I thank you 
for your long looked for, 

4 and am most certainly 

4 Yours in sincerity 


* I have ordered my boy to 

your leisure all theese are as done 

by our friend W his friend unknowne 

4 1 must send for two more, 
both out of Essex, to be signed. 
I have sent you the letter to ly by you.' 

The * four out of six ' which had been sent unsigned must have 
been four out of the six London licences applied for in 320 (25). As to 
which they were we have no indication. Was one of them Chambre's 
about which he says he would like to speak privately ? or were they the 
four (two pairs) for Dr. Annesley and Mr. West ? 

As he speaks of Christopher Martial having been misnamed Presby- 
terian it was his own (Dr. Butler's) mistake he must have sent it back 
with this letter by ' his boy,' to be altered while the boy waits Sir Joseph's 

The reference to ' Mr. Chambre ' is of special interest. 

There is little wonder that Dr. Butler wants a quiet word with Sir 
Joseph about him. He is the Robert Chambers who had lost his preferment 
in Dublin, in 1662, and, like so many more who felt the cruel injustice 
of the Act of Uniformity, had given Colonel Blood his active sympathy 
in the plot which Blood headed in 1663 to surprise Dublin Castle, seize 
the person of the Duke of Ormonde, and right the wrongs of the perse- 
cuted Puritan Protestants.* When the scheme failed, he escaped, as did 
his friend Blood ; and appears to have come direct to London for 
asylum. Under the alias of * Mr. Grime,' or Grimes, he had lived in 
seclusion but not in inaction. In 1665 he was one of the noble band of 
Nonconformist ministers who braved all the perils of the Great Plague 
to supply the lack of service to the sick and dying of the Church of 
England clergy when they fled from the city to preserve their own 
precious lives. In 1669 ne was one f tnose reported by the Bishop of 
London under the name of ' Mr. Grimes ' as holding a Conventicle in 
Home Alley in Aldersgate Street [R. 220]; and now, in 1672, in 
response to Dr. Butler's application on his behalf, he obtained a licence 
c to be a Presbyterian Teacher in any place licenced & allowed 2. Apr. 
4 1672,' under the name of ^Robert Chambre.' The licence was sent to 
Dr. Butler April 4, and conveyed by him to his mysterious friend [E. (5)]. 

The next document is another note to Sir Joseph, dated April 12, 
1672. He sends it, not by a servant, or his 'boy,' but by one whom 
he calls the mutual friend of Sir Joseph and himself, < our friend ' 

; Capt. 
' Chambers a minister presb.,' with three others similarly described. 


Detailed and Expository 

although he was an ejected minister, and one who in 1669 was reported 
as holding a large Conventicle in Wapping and is spoken of by the 
Bishop in anything but complimentary terms Mr. Edward Veal. It 
is very short, but the exact meaning of the allusions in it is not very 
easy to determine. 

It is calendared 320 (61), and is endorsed : ' Middlesex* by Benson. 
It is addressed : < For his honored friend S r Joseph Williamson. 

' Th(ese) psent.' 
and reads : 

'Apr: ye i2 th 1672 
< Deare S r 

' If it bee not over great a trouble I desire you will bee pleased 
to send by this bearer (our good friend M r Veale) the licences I desired 
or at least let me know when I may send for them. 

4 1 am, 

* Ever yours 

These must be the licences he had mentioned in 321 (19?A) four 
days before (viz., for Samuel Slater, of Walthamstow ; Elias Pledger, 
of Whitechapel (for Margetting) ; Peter Vinke,* of London ; Geo. 
Swinhow, of Amersham ; and Chr. Marshall, of Topcliffe, York). 

Now it so happens that licences for the first four had been issued the 
previous day (April n, 1672) [E. (10)] ; and Christopher Marshall's had 
been issued in the very first batch of licences issued on April 2, 1672 
[E. (4)]. So that they were all ready for Mr. Veale to take away with him. 

Though they were ready, however, it is clear from the terms of the 
next document that Mr. Veale did not bring them away, and they were 
still lying ' dormant ' at Whitehall five days later, when Dr. Butler 
writes to Sir Joseph, complaining that they have not reached him. 

It would appear that, whether Mr. Veale first offered to take them 
away or not, Sir Joseph had promised to send them to Dr. Butler, and 
so save Mr. Veale the trouble ; and it seems more likely that Mr. Veale 
did not offer this courtesy, as in the note addressed to Sir Joseph on Mr. 
Wilmott's memorandum, he asks him to send them to their mutual 
friend < D^ Butler.' 

This, and much more, comes out in the following letter by Dr. 
Butler [320(110)]. 

It is endorsed : < Yorkeshire, Kent, Bucks, London, Middlesex, 

Somerset ' ; 

is addressed : 4 For Sir Joseph Williamson ' ; and is one of the most 
carefully and legibly written of the whole series. 

It runs : 

<Lon: Apr: y e 17 th : 72. 

< Dearest S r , 

4 Would you say this were a trouble, I would not comit y e like 
error. I expected licences according to your prnis to our frend Mr. V. 
I am as freely ready to give as you can rec e gr(ace) of allowance upon 

* In the licence-entry spelt ' Winke.' 

The Indulgence Documents 209 

y e account of the multiplicity of busines. if you can or will, pray send 
licences as followeth & if it bee the least inconvenience to you I will 
trouble you noe farther than to tell you allwaies that I am 

' Yours in most sincerity 

* Samuel Slater M.A. his house at Walthamstow Pres: 
Nich: Thorowgood his house in Canterbury pres: MA 
Edward Veales his meeting house in Waping pres: BD 
Tho: Burdsall MA: Licence generall. pres: 
Matt: Sylvester MA Licen: gen: pres: of London 
Thomas Harocks his house in Battersey MA presb: 
Elias Pledger MA Licen: gen pres: of London 
George Swinhow of Woodred parish Amersham his house in 

Oliver Heywood MA pres his house in y e parish of Halifax 


Francis Sale MA pres: his house in Leeds. 
Tho. Sharpe MA pres: his house in Leeds. 

Not inserted 
or y e School house there for y e too last teach rs are helpers of 

Each other.' 

[In margin, written along side of paper] 
' 1 beg theese may bee sent by this bearer & pray thee soe. 
for 'tis lawfull sometimes to bee troublesome. 
I am weary myself of this worke, but cannot deny W.'* 

Of the nineteen or twenty licences asked for, and which he hopes 
his messenger will be able to bring away with him, eleven had been 
ready for some time five of them since the nth of April, and six since 
the 1 3th. The others were fresh applications, two for Battersea 
(Thomas Harrocks's) and six for Yorkshire [Halifax (2) and Leeds (4)]. 

There was no reason, therefore, why Dr. Butler's messenger should 
not have taken away all the former eleven. Even yet, we shall see, 
that was not done. With the fresh applications there was no attempt 
to deal at once. They were not issued till April 20, though they are 
all entered as issued on that date. 

His protestation, < if it bee the least inconvenience to you I will 
< trouble you noe farther,' if it meant anything beyond the civility that 
he would not press Sir Joseph to do anything that day, had no practical 
worth ; for two days later he is begging licences again. 

April 17 (the date of [320 (110)]) was a Wednesday. 320 (152 
or 153), which is the next letter bearing Dr. Butler's cryptic signature 
fyz?*^ is dated ' Frid. morn'.' 

It is endorsed : * London, Midd.,' and runs : 

* Frid. morn ' 

< My dear S r Joseph, 

4 Send mee this one time & ille vow and swear I'll send for noe 
more, for any man's pleasure. I have sent y e blanck fill. y e porter 

* ' W must mean ' Mr. West,' Edward West, of Ropemakers' Alley, Moorfields. 

2io Detailed and Expository 

waits your leisure. I will be very vext noe moe. let ould ... get 
licences for these for me. Yet still & ever shall I bee 

4 Yours as much as you will 

4 or can wish 


4 Pray let patron signe these 

I could make you laugh but I will not 
good now if you have any goodness in you 
send me all I send for.' 

It must be confessed that Dr. Butler is a little impatient. He has 
allowed only two days to pass since he applied. But the Whitehall 
officials apparently are not inclined to put themselves out to meet his 
wishes. His messenger has to go away without the fresh licences asked 
on the iyth (for Surrey and Yorks). They are not made out until the 
following day Saturday, April 20. [I imagine it is these he refers to 
in the postscript.] And for any new ones he will surely have to wait 
those referred to in the sentence, * let ould . . . get licences for these 
4 for me.' What 4 these ' are, the letter gives no indication. But Ben- 
son's endorsement 4 London, Middlesex ' would lead us to suppose 
that a list accompanied the letter of places in these districts, which has 
disappeared. The next letter, which is undoubtedly from Dr. Butler's 
hand, is 320 (170). But 320 (163) an application from William 
Hooke (the friend of John Davenport of New Haven and the ex-master 
of the Savoy) for a licence for himself and John Langstone his assistant 
to preach at Richard Loton's house 4 in Spittle yard at present and the 
4 next year at his howse in Angell Alley in Whitechappell ' seems to 
have been put in by Dr. Butler ; for the note (applying to the erasure 
of the last clause), 4 I have crossed what I thought not practicable,' 
seems to be in Dr. Butler's hand. 

But here is an undoubted production of the Doctor's hand : 

320 (170) 

Addressed : 4 for S r Joseph Williamson ' 

4 Apr. 22 th 72 

4 A posset take you my dear friend, cannot you bee a sufferer, but 
you must make me a fellow feeler, because you give licences for noe 
thing, must I bee thus troubled Why coe you not beg my pardon 
what ? have you lost goodnes & good manners all at once fy, fy. in 
truth I must ring* you not because you root* but beecause you do 
not well however whether in jest or earnest you must conclude I am 
& ever shall bee 

4 Dear S^ 

4 Yours most unfeignedly 

4 in all faithfulnes. 

* The allusion must be to Dr. B.'s reproach of Sir Joseph Williamson that he 
does not ' grub ' about in the pockets of licence-seekers for money in the shape of 
fees, as swine Toot' about in the mire for filthy food if their snouts are not 'ring'ed. 

The Indulgence Documents 211 

* there bee five beehind 

for which you bee a naughty man. 
I can heare all have them i mediately, 
but if you take mee for your frend I 
wil have you to make bould 

pray fill up y e blanck with for his 

house at Walthamstow.' 

The body of this letter shows that a point has been raised by Sir 
Joseph as to the conditions on which Dr. Butler is obtaining these 
licences similar to that which, about a month later, was raised in so 
awkward a form about Colonel Blood. 

Dr. Butler at the outset protested that in this matter he was quite 
willing to serve God for naught, and that it was mainly, wholly, the 
interests of the King and the Church which he was working for in 
taking up this Indulgence. Here he frankly avows, or at least very 
clearly implies, that he does not mean to get these licences for nothing ; 
hinting that in his opinion there should be some fee officially charged, to 
be paid at Whitehall by the applicant whether in person or by proxy : 
in the latter case, the agent being allowed to charge a little extra as his 
personal perquisite. Sir Joseph evidently does not agree. The allu- 
sions in the postscript are not all equally clear. The last sentence can 
scarcely mean anything but that he had found the licence for Samuel 
Slater imperfect, or Samuel Slater himself had discovered it. The 

* meeting-place ' was not filled in, and he wished it filled in * for his 

* house at Walthamstow.' The first sentence of it means that there 
are still five licences which he has applied for, but has not yet received. 
What they are it is not easy to ascertain. 

Having let off this steam of ' familiar* wit, he begins again. The 
very next day (April 23) he writes him, as though he had never written 

He begs for licences by an unnamed * bearer ' and for ' persons & 
4 places ' unnamed, and asks him to accord a private interview to Mr. 
Edward West, of Little Moorfields. 

320 (185) 

It is endorsed by Sir Joseph : ' Indulgence. 

'23 Apr. 1672. R. 

<Dr. B.' 
It is addressed : < These for S r Joseph Williamson ' : and reads : 

< Apr. y e 23 th 72 
4 Most honored & dear S r , 

' 1 humbly pray y* you would give licences to y e bearer heareof 
for such persons & places as hee shall offer to you, & bee pleased to take 
noe notice to the bearer of mee for hee knoweth not from whoese 
hands this cometh & alsoe bee pleased to favor M r West as mee with 
an opportunity for one half hower to waite upon you at your time & 


212 Detailed and Expository 

place, which if you please you may intimate by a line by this bearer to 
bee delivered to y e party hee comes from, but not superscribe it comes 
from M r W: 


' I am in all manner of faithfullnes 

c Yours to love honour & serve you 

The next letter is addressed to Lord Arlington, and concerns an 
important question in the working of the Indulgence (touching the 
details of its application) viz., whether licences should be granted for 
large Buildings and Public Halls. 

Evidently the High Church Party were using their influence at 
headquarters to prevent it. Anything which gave the Nonconformist 
services prominence and good public standing they feared would injure 
the Church of England ; and they had in many cases already secured 
the official refusal to made such application. Dr. Butler had not been 
asked to obtain licences for any such buildings, but Colonel Blood had. 
Colonel Blood had made application for several, evidently considering 
that no possible objection could be taken to issuing licences for them, 
wherever those responsible for the maintenance of such buildings were 
willing that they should be used for this purpose. 

His application, and a number of similar applications on the part 
of others, had met with a curt refusal, rousing considerable resentment 
in many quarters. Blood was evidently nettled, and in a letter to Lord 
Arlington on public affairs (touching the Dutch fleet), had urged that 
such refusals were bad tactics as well as unfair. That was on the 24th 
of April (S. P. Dom. Car. II. 306, 63A).* It is more than probable that 
he had seen Dr. Butler about it after writing, if not before ; and D r 
Butler fully concurred with his judgment, though in his own letter to 
Lord Arlington he makes no illusion to Blood, and bases his remonstrance 
on what he has personally heard on all sides. 

The letter is dated April 26, 1672, the iday on which Sir Joseph 
endorses Blood's letter as received, and is reproduced in Vol. I. as : 

320 (196) 

It is endorsed by Sir Joseph Williamson : < Ye Indulgence 

< 26 Apr. 72. R. 

< D r Butler, 

<y e use of Halls.' 

It is addressed : ' For y e Right Hon ble Earle of Arlington ' ; and 
reads : 

' London, Apr: y e 26 th 1672 
< Right Hon^e 

4 1 should not bee faithful should I conceale y e dayly growth of 
Jelousies, Protestant dissenters conclude this there (sic) liberty soe 
graciously soe freely granted by his Majesty will bee short lived in 
regard 'tis soe stiffled in y e birth, publick places was declared should bee 

* Vide account of Blood (pp. 234, 235), 

The Indulgence Documents 213 

allow'd now refused, & they licenced to noe more than what thoese of 
y e Romish perswasion freely enjoy, they say why not Halls Schooles 
or chappells not endowed, they beeing by declaration only debarred 
church benefices, let others supply unendowed chappells with preach- 
ing ministers, dissenters desires off them presently ceaceth, otherwise 
they conclude wheare God hath his church y e Devill must have his 
chappell, it beeing his great worke to keepe y e Gospell from beeing 

* Every day allmost affords tidings (as I can show some) from 
y e countries of y e many frequent and fervent blessing of god & y e King, 
tis great pitty y l anything (by lessening his Maj: soe mercifull grant) 
should bee done to hinder soe good soe advantageous a worke as y e 
getting y e harts of the people which now as y e hart of one man begin 
to say long may your majesty live & rule over us. these are weighty 
reasons (I humbly conceive) rather of choice to allow them theese 
publick places. 

* but I have troubled your honor too much already, yet I had your 
encouragement for it, but I am loath to abuse my liberty, therefore 
only further beg to bee accounted 

4 Right Hon ble 

4 Your honors 

4 Most unworthy yet most 
11 servant 

The same day he writes to the Under Secretary in the same vein 
as he has written to the Chief Secretary of State. 

320 (197) 
Endorsed : 

4 25. Apr. 72 R. 


* Halls to N-Conformists.' 
Addressed : * For S r Joseph Williamson.' 

'Aprill 26 th 72 
* Most honored & dear S r , 

4 had I scene you I should further discoursed this point, I am 
confident you beelieve I intirely love you, without self ends of anything 
from you or by you. I am sorry to heare it said, who is y e author of 
this Stop of halls etc. : my ears are daily beared with theese complaints 
loath I was to trouble you but rubs are easiest removed at first, a plain 
frend is not to bee despised noe one is privy to my writing but I did 
see a necessity of it. Our friend G is well had hee knowne of my 
writing hee would kindly remembered (sic) to you. I constantly let 
him know all my actings if not before, yet after 
4 1 am, 

4 ever without all doubt 

4 Your truly loveing & endeared frend 

214 Detailed and Expository 

The counsel tendered by both him and Blood was not accepted. 
Though some large mansions and public halls, which were the legal 
property of trustees, were * allowed,' a greater number were refused ; 
and the refusal was unhesitating and without exception in the case of 
all ecclesiastical property property belonging to the dignitaries or 
clergy of the Church of England. 

The number of such cases was much larger than would perhaps be 
supposed ; and the details connected with each case are full of interest. 
The reader will find them discussed in Chapter VI. of this Second 

This was, however, a side issue, and is not allowed by Dr. Butler 
as it was apparently by Colonel Blood to check his efforts to make 
the Indulgence a success. 

The very same day on which he had penned this double remon- 
strance, he writes again to Sir Joseph Williamson, though quite late in 
the evening. 

The letter is reproduced as : 

320 (198) 

It is endorsed by Sir Joseph's clerk, Fr. Benson : 

< Dr Butler 

'R 27 Ap. 72 ' 

It is unaddressed, but was evidently meant for Sir Joseph ; and 
reads : 

'Apr: y e 26 th 72 
' Most honoured & deare S r 

' These came this evening to my hand by which you may see 
my readiness to promote what may bee most acceptable to his majesty 
theese beeing y e effects of writing downe and if theese please I will 
not offer to obtaine for any but upon such account I most humbly beg 
y l this bearer may bring y e licences fully according to y e petitions. 
'I am 

4 most deare S r 
' Your most unfeigned frend 

* loveing to love, honor, & serve you 

The < these ' in the first sentence of the above must be two Petitions 
(from Eccles and Winwick) which accompanied the letter, and are 
reproduced in Vol. I. as 320 (198 I.) and 320 (198 II.). 

Their preambles are practically identical, being evidently variants 
of a model form drawn up, and sent to the intending petitioners by 
Dr. Butler, when writing down to suggest this course. The following 
note to Mr. Benson, Sir Joseph's head clerk, must have been penned the 
same night or following morning : 

320 (199) 

It is addressed : ' For M r Francis Benson/ 
and reads : 

The Indulgence Documents 215 

' There were two peticcons sent by mee to S r Joseph : y e one 
from Eccles y e other from Winwick in Lancashire.* y e persons names 
I have forgot, but hope this may direct you to find them other wais 
I must bee forced to send to Lancr: for the names againe which would 
reflect much upon my credit. I should bee truely thankefull to you for 
y e finding of them. 

* I am, 


' Yours 

It should not escape notice that, in writing to the subordinate, Dr. 
Butler does not feel the need for secrecy, which he observes when 
writing to Sir Joseph. He signs not in cypher but under his usual 
' sign-manual * ; but still with that confusing method of making the 
second stroke of the ' N ' do duty for the first stroke of the ' B ' thereby 
making the signature appear more like J. Butler than N.Butler. 

In the course of the next three or four days two other Petitions 
reached his hand ; the first from Wrentham, Essex, dated April 29 
[320 (204)], and the second from Lewes, Sussex, dated April 30 
[320 (209)]. 

The letter which follows asks attention to these Petitions : 

320 (210) 

Endorsed: '30. Apr. 1672. R 


* Licences 

'Milward's house 
< Rent 

< Rathbone ' 
Addressed : ' For S r Joseph Williamson.' 

* Apr y e y e 3O th 72 
4 Most honored & deare S r 

' 1 most humbly beg licences for thoese two peticions according 
as therein desired. I alsoe pray a licence for y e house of M r Georg 
Milward at Farincomb in Somersetshire for M r John Milward to preach 
in whoe already hath a licence in generall. there is yet alsoe two 
beehind of y e ould ones I formerly desired which were for Kent. 
Rathbone was one of them, the other I have forgotten. I intreat you, 
deare S r , to let mee have theese. I get nothing by this but expense of 
money & time. I am, for ever, 

< Dear S r , 

* Yours in all truth 

John Milward's personal licence had been * desired ' by Dr. Butler 
as early as the jist of March or 1st April. The memorandum of 

* Both townes there ' : marginal note by J. W. 

2 1 6 Detailed and Expository 

application is preserved in 320 (25). It had been made out (in the first 
batch issued) April 2, and sent to Dr. Butler April 4 [vide Sir J. W.'s 
Notes on E. (4)]. The licence he now asks for George Milward's 
house is granted at once, as well as a second licence for himself there, 
although (as already licensed to preach in 'any allowed place') it was 
quite unnecessary. Both are entered on E. (67) as issued the very next 
day (May i). Rathbone (or Rathband)'s licence was applied for first 
April 17 [(Benson's Official List) 320 (115)]. The application was 
repeated [320 (162)]. In each case it was to preach in ' Richard Day's 
house.' This doubtless is the name Dr. Butler had forgotten. Both 
licences were made out and entered [E. (34)] on '20 Apr. 72.' for 
Presbyterians in Horsmonden. 

The next letter of Dr. Butler's which we come to is 321 (65). 

This letter is neither signed with Dr. Butler's cypher nor ' addressed.' 
Still, there is no reason for hesitation in assigning it to Dr. Nicholas 
Butler the handwriting is so manifestly his ; and Benson has endorsed 
it : ' D r Butler, 9 May 72. Essex.' 

* Pray send mee the licence for Constantine according to y e peti- 
cion, and theese following 

'A licence for y e house of M r Harris called Chennills in Margeting 

Essex, Elias Pledger is to bee teacher but hath already a generall 

licence soe needs noe more. 
'John Oakes of Little Baddow in Essex M:A: presbi: for him selfe 

& his owne house 
' Christopher Wrage M:A: presbi: for him selfe & his house called 

Foxtons hall in Litle Waltham Essex 
'John Reeve M.A. Presb: for him selfe and y e house in Chelmsford 

Essex know by the signe of y e King's head ' 

In the above ' Constantine' is Robert Constantine, M.A., 'formerly 
' minister of Oldham '; and ' ye peticion ' is a Petition which is preserved 
as 321 (22), 'To the Kings most Excellent Mai tie ,' from 'a number of 
' Inhabitants of the Parish of Oldham,' to permit him to preach in ' A 
'Barne belonging to Robert Wylde of Heaside.' The licences were 
ready having been made out the previous day, May 8, 1672 
[E. (86)]. 

Mr. Harris's house at Stenvills (here ' Chennils '), had been applied 
for the previous day (May 8) by William Mascall, of Romford 
[321 (27)]. 

Elias Pledger's licence had been applied for by Dr. Butler as early as 
April 8 [321 (197 A), and on another memorandum [320 (49)], Elias 
Pledger had long before that been described by Sir Joseph Williamson or 
his clerk, Fr. Benson, as ' usually living ' at Whitechapel, and had 
been granted a general licence April n, 1672 [E. (10)]. 

The applications for John Oakes (person and house), and Christopher 
Wrag (person and a friend's house), are new applications. 

John Reeve had already secured licences for himself to preach in 
his own house at Springfield (near Colchester), probably on the applica- 

The Indulgence Documents 217 

tion of John Burgis. Issued on April 30 [E. (45)], it had been taken 
away by John Burgis on May i [320 (244)] .* 

But Dr. Butler now applies for another licence to preach in 
Chelmsford itself, 'at the signe of the King's Head' (was it an inn ?).t 
All these are secured at once, and are entered [on E. (94)] as issued on 
the very day of this application, May 9, 1672. 

The next letter of Dr. Butler's, in order of numbering, is 321 (19?A), 
but that we have seen reason to place much earlier, because it was palpably 
by a slip of the pen that Dr. Butler dated it February 8, 1672 which 
has been interpreted by the Editor as February 8, 1673 whereas Sir 
Joseph's endorsement, April 8, 1672, is clearly an accurate correction. 
So that it ought to have been placed in Vol. 320, somewhere between 33 
and 61. [As 34 is dated April 6, it might well immediately follow that.] 

The next and last of this most interesting series of letters is 
321 (333). 

It is endorsed : < the houses not fild up in this note.' 

The lines containing the names are by a different hand. The note 
is undoubtedly Dr. Butler's, and is remarkable as being signed with his full 
surname, not the familiar cypher *^^*^. The whole document reads: 
' M r Samuel Statham a Presbyterian of Loughborough in Leicester-shire.' 
4 The house of M rs Mary Statham widow of Loughborough in 
Leicester-shire for Presbyterians to meet in,' etc. 

< M r Benson 

4 Pray doe mee the favour as to send mee licences as above 
desired by this gentleman & you will much oblige 


< Your obliged frend 
* Pray let me know by him 
what news from ye fleet.' 

This note, it will be again observed, is clearly and fully signed 
-> doubtless because it is addressed to the subordinate, and 

not to Sir J. W., the responsible public official. The date is not 
appended. But the licences asked for were granted and entered 
June 10, 1672 [E. (153)]. This shows that the note must have been 
written within a month of that last quoted. The enquiry in the P.S. 
for ' news from y e fleet,' moreover, shows that it must have been less 
than three weeks ; for on May 28 the great battle was fought in South- 
wold Bay, in its issues, equal and indecisive. 

The whole correspondence of the Doctor preserved in these two 
volumes therefore ranges in date between March 19 and June 10, and 
covers less than three months of this eventful year. 

* This document is defective. Two licences were issued ; and John Burgis speaks 
of only one. The name of the preacher also is omitted (viz., the same John Reeve 
for whose house a separate licence was issued), John Burgis's silence on the point 
implying, to the unwary, that he, John Burgis, was to be the preacher. 

f In the entry it is simply called ' the howse of John Reeve in Chelmesford, 
' Essex.' 

2 1 8 Detailed and Expository 

Of course, it has to be borne in mind that all the similar notes or 
memoranda relating to the applications for licences or their receipt after 
the middle of June, were not preserved. So that we cannot say that 
Dr. Butler gave up this licence-agent work with this date. He 
evidently was genuinely interested in the whole Indulgence project, 
though it would involve too great a draft on our credulity to believe 
that there was no thought of self in it. Too palpably he was hoping 
thereby to convince both the King and his brother that he was devoted 
to the cause of their personal popularity, and would do anything to 
promote the welfare of the Stuart dynasty. 


He was an Irishman by birth, but a strong Protestant, and a Puritan 
by religious education. He was born in 1628 on his paternal estate at 
Dun boy ne, county Meath, about ten or twelve miles north-west of 
Dublin. Until his marriage to a Lancashire lass in 1650, we know 
little or nothing about him ; but we may well recall the facts of British 
history belonging to that period of his life, which would be graven deep 
in his memory, and which must have had great influence in moulding 
his sympathies and character. 

He was twelve years old when the Long Parliament assembled at 
Westminster, and began its memorable work by impeaching Strafford 
for his attempts to introduce personal government, and for several 
instances of personal oppression, in Ireland, following it up by com- 
pelling Charles to assent to his execution, as well as to that of Laud. 

He was thirteen, when the whole of Protestant Ireland was 
thrown into consternation by the frightful massacre of Ulster, and no 
doubt the horrors of that brutal butchery were deeply imprinted on his 

As a lad of fourteen he would hear that Charles had raised the Royal 
Standard on Nottingham Castle, and afterwards how the country was 
plunged into the long miseries of a four years' Civil War. None of the 
military forces at that time in Ireland owned any direct allegiance to 
the Parliament, as opposed to the King. Ulster was being garrisoned 
(or protected) by the Scotch under Munro, and Ormonde's army 
around Dublin was hot for the King. 

The 'Life and Adventures' does not hesitate to identify Blood's 
father with the Royalist cause, suggesting that young Blood, when he 
entered the army, joined Ormonde's forces. The view of Kaye and 
others, however, is much more probable, that Blood's father was a 

* I had prepared a much fuller account of this remarkable man, citing verbatim 
all the original documents which are my warranty for the statements made. This 
would have made the monograph of a length altogether disproportionate to the im- 
portance of Blood's connection with our theme. I therefore present only a condensed 
summary of it. 

The Indulgence Documents 219 

Puritan, and was in secret sympathy with the popular cause, so that 
young Blood's military service would from the first be in the army of the 

Not long after the Civil War had begun, Charles astutely struck a 
truce and afterwards made a Treaty with the Irish rebels. This set 
Ormonde free to transport his troops to Wales ; later marching them 
into Cheshire to the assistance of the King, with Monck as one of 
his officers. 

It was this that brought the Parliamentary army for the first time 
near to Ireland. Fairfax, marching a strong detachment from Lincoln, 
met this Irish contingent, and inflicted a crushing defeat on them at 
Nantwich, amongst other officers taking Monck prisoner ; and not six 
months later, reinforced by ' the Association troops organized by 
c Cromwell,' inflicted a still more crushing defeat on the Royalists at 
Marston Moor. Surely Blood was not then too young (he was now 
sixteen) to have joined the Parliamentary army ! 

But Mr. Kaye does not introduce him to his military service till two 
years later, by the purchase for him by his father of a lieutenancy in 
Fairfax's troop. The year 1646, however, is an unfortunate date for 
Kaye to have selected, for by that time the Civil War was practically 
over, with the fall of Bristol and the surrender of Oxford. True, 
another two years later still, the war broke out afresh, with the march 
of the Scotch into England on Charles's invitation. 

Blood was then (1648) just twenty; and it is a very probable sug- 
gestion Kaye makes in his little romance, that it was in the short and 
sharp campaign in the southern half of Lancashire, that being quartered 
with other of the Parliamentary troops in Holcroft Hall, he first saw, 
and fell in love with, his future wife. 

Cromwell had reduced Wales, and, dashing north through Cheshire, 
joined hands with Lambert, in time to inflict a ruinous defeat on 
Hamilton's Scotch army at Preston, in Lancashire. So brilliantly did 
young Blood distinguish himself in this encounter that the vigilant eye 
of Cromwell noted the dashing young lieutenant ; and when after the 
death of the King at Whitehall, January 29, 1648-49, Cromwell was 
appointed Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland, he took Blood with him there. 
At that time all the partisans of the English monarchy in Ireland were 
arrayed in full force against Oliver the navy under Prince Rupert, and 
the army under Ormonde. But Jones, who had held Dublin against 
great odds for the last two years, at this critical moment destroyed 
Ormonde's army at Rathmines (August 2, 1650), and made the way 
clear for Cromwell to make Dublin his headquarters. 

Blood accompanied the force which Cromwell took with him when 
he and Jones advanced against Drogheda, and Kaye makes Blood the 
choice of both Cromwell and Jones to lead the third desperate assault, 
which captured the citadel, though it had been deemed impregnable, 
alike by its natural position and by its skilfully planned fortification. 

For these distinguished services Thomas Blood was honoured with a 
colonelcy (though we have no hint as to the occasions on which he had 
been elevated from his lieutenancy to the intermediate ranks), and he 

22O Detailed and Expository 

remained in Ireland till by the capture of Kilkenny and Clonmel 
Cromwell had completed the conquest of Ireland. When the army 
was released on the return of Oliver to England in May, 1650, Blood 
went over to Lancashire to claim his fiancee, Mary Holcroft, obtained 
the consent of her father, Squire Holcroft of Holcroft Hall, and was 
married in the parish church of Culcheth, June 21, 1650.* 

Returning to Ireland, the young wedded pair settled in the vicinity 
of Dublin, enjoying the revenues of a fair estate ; Oliver having rewarded 
Thomas Blood's faithful and distinguished services, as he did others of 
his Irish army, by conferring on him part of the sequestered estates of 
the Royalist landowners. When Henry Cromwell, too, undertook the 
government of Ireland, he thought so well of Thomas Blood that he 
made him Justice of the Peace. 

The four or five years preceding the Restoration, then, we may call 
the halcyon days of Blood's career, though the whole of the first ten 
years of his married life in Ireland were happy and peaceful. Probably 
three of his children were born in Ireland. There seem to have been 
six of them : four sons Thomas, his namesake, the eldest ; Holcroft 
(his mother's maiden surname), William, and Charles ; and two daugh- 
ters Mary, his wife's namesake, and Elizabeth. 

With the Restoration of Charles II. in 1660, this domestic happi- 
ness was destined to become a thing of the past. The loyal Irish 
gentry clamoured for the restoration of their sequestered estates, and 
Charles was obliged, in part, to accede to their demands, though he dis- 
liked the work of ejecting from their landed property men who had 
welcomed, or at any rate had acquiesced in, his return, quite as much as 
he disliked the work of ejecting loyal ministers from their livings. 

Still, it had to be done ; and among those who lost their lands was 
Thomas Blood. We may be sure, too, that Ormonde on his return to 
power in Ireland as Lord-Lieutenant, would at once cancel Blood's 
commission as Justice of the Peace. These circumstances were not 
likely to foster in him a spirit of devotion to the new regime ; and 
when Blood saw the Roman Catholics openly favoured, all the Puritan 
Protestant clergy removed, and only the highest Anglican clergy 
acknowledged, we are not surprised to learn that Blood assumed an 
attitude of restless discontent which rapidly ripened into revolt against 
the new order. 

Many of the dispossessed ex-soldiery of Cromwell's army, and many 
of the ejected ministers (of Puritan and evangelical convictions) shared 
his discontent, and more or less definitely were formed into a brother- 
hood pledged to attempt any project that would unsettle this new 
settlement, and restore to the despoiled some, at least, of their ancient 

This was the case not only in Ireland, but for different though allied 
reasons, in Scotland, and in many parts of England ; and through the 
next ten years or more we find Blood a moving spirit in this disaffected 
party, ready to organize any enterprise which was likely to disturb the 

* For this fact and date we have first-hand documentary evidence in the entry of 
the marriage in the parish register of Culcheth. 

The Indulgence Documents 221 

security of the restored Royalists, or seemed to promise in any, even the 
most remote or indirect way, spoil of material treasure by which they 
might reimburse their material losses. 

It is in this light that we ought to view Blood's many romantic, 
almost quixotic, enterprises. They were not the wanton crimes of a 
wicked, cruel, unprincipled adventurer, rebel, highwayman, and robber, 
but the daring deeds of one never afraid to risk his life in any object that 
either commanded his sympathy or held out the hope of solid gain ; and 
they were all in the interests of the Protestant against the Papist, of the 
Puritan as against the Prelatist, and of the people as against the aristocracy 
or plutocracy. 

The first of these enterprises was a well-considered scheme, planned 
soon after the passing of the English Act of Uniformity in 1662,* which 
miscarried only through the treachery of some women concerned in it 
to capture Dublin Castle, secure the person of Ormonde as Lord- 
Lieutenant, and so acquire a position from which they could make their 
own terms with the authorities in England. That was in May, 1663. 

The plot was prematurely treacherously disclosed to the Lord-Lieu- 
tenant, and he was able to secure the persons of some twenty-four of the 
ringleaders. But Blood with some of his friends escaped. Robert Chambers 
and Mr. Cormack, both Puritan ministers, were associated with him, 
and the former found asylum in London under the alias of Mr. Grimes. 

Exasperated by their escape, Ormonde published a proclamation, 
declaring Blood and his associates rebels and traitors against the Crown, 
and pronouncing them outlawed, in case of their non-surrender within 
twenty-four hours. 

Under that ban of outlawry, Thomas Blood lived for the next eight 
years, ever eluding the vigilance of all the King's officers and all the 
King's men, whether in Ireland, or Scotland, or England, keeping them 
all in a constant state of nervous apprehension, and yet as constantly 
gaining some little irritating advantage in his guerilla warfare against the 
Royalist authorities, though rarely succeeding in his immediate object. 
For a time, according to the < Life and Adventures,' his hiding-places 
were in Dublin and its neighbourhood, amongst his old friends and the 
native Irish in the mountains [of Meath and Kildare and Wicklow] . 

R. H. (in his remarks) also alleges that not long after he managed to 
slip over to Holland, gaining the confidence of the De Ruyter family [a 
proof, surely, that he was not the unmitigated rascal which he has 
generally been supposed to be]. On recrossing the Channel, he 
appears to have remained in England ; and in the autumn of this same 
year 1663, is credited with giving active help to another daring project 
whose centre was in Yorkshire, though its secret organizing committee 
sat in London. It aimed at nothing less than a general rising in 
England on the part mainly of the disbanded Cromwellian soldiers. 
The informers tried to persuade the authorities that many Noncon- 
formist ministers were involved in it ; and several ejected ministers 
were arrested on the merest suspicion, though no evidence to convict 

* Was it not largely the sense of injustice produced by the similar ejectments in 
Ireland, all effected, illegally, in or by 1661, which led to the movement in Dublin ? 

222 Detailed and Expository 

them could ever be obtained. It evidently had no active sympathisers 
in any of the Nonconformists of position, and the scheme fizzled out 
when a few hundred were surprised at their rendezvous. 

Yet Blood is informed against, as being often present at their secret 
council in London. During these times of fitful residence in England 
he passed under the alias of Mr. Allen, a medical man. The year 1664 
was not over before the Irish authorities were startled with rumours that 
he was back again in Ireland fomenting fresh trouble there. The only 
foundation for this scare, however, was their nervous fear. The scare 
was repeated in November of the following year (vide letter from the 
Earl of Orrery to Sec. Arlington [S. P. Dom. Car. II., 319, 318]). 

The following year, the year of the great plague in London (if the 
paper is rightly dated by the calendarist of the Record Office), we find 
him with infinite daring addressing a petition to the King, to secure to 
him property due to his wife on the decease of her father. Was he pre- 
suming on the contentious point that an outlawry in Ireland had no 
force for England ? or was not the paper displaced by the calendarist by 
at least seven years, really belonging to 1672 ? like another which shows 
him interceding for the liberation of three imprisoned Conventiclers 
(two in Norfolk, and one in Westminster) ? 

What seems more probable is the statement, in a State paper of later 
date, that he actually chose this year of civic panic to plan a scheme 
somewhat similar to the one he had planned two years before in Dublin, 
to seize the Tower of London.* In 1666 we have some glimmering 
of doubtful information that he was back again in Ireland with his 
wife and family in the neighbourhood of Dublin ; possibly with other 
comrades planning some new plot. Whether there was any truth in 
that, however, it seems certain that when he heard of the rising of the 
Covenanters against their oppressors in the Western Lowlands, Thomas 
Blood did not hesitate a moment, but got away to Scotland, cast in his 
lot with them, and was engaged with them in their last desperate battle 
(and crushing defeat) upon the Pentland Hills. Again he seemed to 
have a charmed life. Though so many fell, he escaped, and by the 
beginning of 1667 na ^ slipped away through Westmorland to South 
Lancashire, and was securely living in disguise in the neighbourhood of 
his wife's old home at Culcheth. 

To the informer, who conveys this fruitless information to Lord 
Arlington at Whitehall, we are indebted for the following vivid word- 
picture of Blood's personal appearance : ' He is of full body, indifferent 
' tall, broad shoulders, and stoops in the shoulders, big-boned, of blackish 
' brown hair, not very long, and sometimes wears a periwig coal-black ; 
< full-faced, with many pock-holes, grey eyes ; commonly in plain clothes, 
* and a countryman's riding coat of a grey colour.' 

Again, the Dublin authorities are scared with rumours that he is in 
Ireland plotting serious mischief against Ormonde, and that he is lying 
in hiding in the Coombe in Dublin (his headquarters in the attempt of 
four years before). Of course, it is just possible that it was so, but it 

* If he did, the governor was too vigilant to give Blood any chance of carrying 
his scheme into effect. 

The Indulgence Documents 223 

more probably was a false report, set afloat purposely to put the 
authorities off the scent as to his real whereabouts. 

What is certain is that in July he was in England, and carried 
through with brilliant success one of the most daring exploits of his 
adventurous life. This was the rescue of a friend, who was being taken 
under military escort to York for trial, which would certainly have 
ended in his execution. This friend was Mason, who had taken part 
with him in the Yorkshire Rising of October, 1663, and in the winter 
of 1666 had joined Blood and many more English sympathisers to give 
chivalrous help to the poor Covenanters of Lowland Scotland. In this 
latter venture, when Blood escaped, Mason was taken. He had been 
incarcerated first in the Tower of London, but it had been decided to 
send him to York Castle for his trial. Blood gained intelligence of the 
facts, learned the exact route the escort would take, took with him 
some eight or nine comrades (doubtless discharged Cromwellian soldiers, 
as safe seats, and as careless of their lives in any good cause, as himself), 
lay in ambush near Darrington, on the great North road from London 
to York, surprised the escort by dashing on their rear from a side lane, 
and though they made a good fight of it for the space of half an hour 
(according to the personal narrative sent to Whitehall by their captain), 
completely outclassed and overpowered them, and carried Mason off in 
triumph. Nor were they captured, though the ' hue and cry ' was raised 
against them. 

The King at once published a Proclamation, offering 100 to anyone 
who would secure Blood's person or that of any of his companions, so 
outlawing him as distinctly in England as Ormonde had outlawed him 
in Ireland in 1663. The Proclamation was barren of result. 

It is true an informer volunteered them the comforting news that 
Blood was dead. It is clear ' the wish was father to the thought.' 
Other birds of like feather with ' Fryer,' the man who gave this in- 
formation, knew otherwise. For in the beginning of 1668, Levinz (a 
man who was being taken down to York Castle with Mason, at the 
time that Blood rescued him, and had then turned ' King's evidence '), 
asked for a warrant (which was promptly given him) to arrest any one 
or all of fifteen persons named by him or to search their houses for arms. 
Thomas Blood was one of those named. Warrants were issued 
March 2, 1667-68. 

The warrants were useless. It needed a man of more pluck and 
resource than Levinz to track and capture Thomas Blood. For the 
next two years and more he was living quietly in the Western portion 
of Kent, under the alias of Allen or Ayliffe. Still he kept himself in 
touch with the metropolis, which had acquired for Thomas Blood 
an added interest since the Duke of Ormonde had been relieved of the 
Lord-Lieutenancy of Ireland, and had come to live in London. 

In October, 1670, the Prince of Orange had come over to see his 
uncle the King ; and on December 6, the City gave a magnificent 
banquet in his honour. Ormonde was living then in Clarendon House, 
the mansion built by his friend Clarendon (his intimacy with 
Clarendon was largely responsible for his withdrawal from Ireland), and 
he had been one of the guests in the Guildhall. 

224 Detailed and Expository 

Thomas Blood had always looked on Ormonde as the incarnation of 
all the evil principles in the government of Ireland, which had wrought 
such cruel havoc amongst the Puritan Protestants there, and had been 
long awaiting his opportunity to turn his previous failures to humiliate 
and injure Ormonde into success. Such opportunity he thought he had 
now found. He got information of the time and of the route by which 
Ormonde would be returning from the City to Clarendon House. It 
would probably be along Fleet Street, the Strand to Charing Cross, and 
along Pall Mall to St. James's Street, and thence by St. James's Street 
to the late Chancellor's mansion, which looked right down St. James's 
Street on to St. James's Palace. With a few trusty and trusted friends 
he waylaid the Duke's coach, disabled the servants attending him, 
seized the Duke's person, and tied him on a horse behind one of his 
companions. Vowing that he would take him to Tyburn, and hang 
him there like the common felon he was, he was conducting him 
in procession thither, when the Duke managed to unhorse his guard, 
and some of his servants having been roused to Blood's pursuit, and 
their master's rescue, came up just in time to make it dangerous for 
Blood to pursue the matter further. So Blood and his companions 
clapped spurs to their good horses, dispersed into the safety of the night, 
and left the Duke in all his frightened disarray to be escorted to his 
lordly lodgings by his servants. 

Probably Blood was quite content to have thoroughly frightened 
Ormonde, for it is more than doubtful whether, had he got him to 
Tyburn, he would have really hanged him. This fresh exploit would, 
of course, make the authorities keener than ever to obtain possession 
of his person. With his usual skill, he evaded all pursuit, and none 
could track or lay hands upon him. There is every reason to believe 
that he returned from this adventure to his safe seclusion in Western 
Kent, though many of the Government spies fancied that he had 
returned to Lancashire only a month after Ormonde had so luckily 
escaped pn January, 1670-71]. 

While they were gravely befooling the Whitehall authorities with 
the fascinating fancy that they were on his track and would soon have 
him safely in their toils, he was quietly arranging the details of a scheme 
which was to startle not London alone, but the whole of England by its 
nearly successful audacity. It was nothing less than to seize and carry 
off the Crown Jewels which were kept in an inner chamber of the 
Tower of London. On May 8, 1671, disguised as a priest, and with 
the aid of his eldest son and namesake, with one or two more, he 
managed to gag and to render senseless the aged custodian of the Jewels, 
and had got clear of the building with the Regalia safely in possession, 
when the custodian's son-in-law unexpectedly appeared upon the scene 
and roused other officials in the Tower just in time to overpower the 
little party, arrest and secure them, and recover the treasure which was 
on the point of being carried off. 

Thus after eight years of immunity, Colonel Blood was secured at 
last. The natural conclusion of every one who heard the news was 
that with all promptitude, and without mercy, the outlaw would suffer 

The Indulgence Documents 22$ 

the extreme penalty of rebellion, high treason, and robbery with 

In those days it was often thought that to spare a criminal, pro- 
vided he could be enlisted in the King's service, was a wiser thing, and 
would pay better in the end, than to execute him out of hand. It must 
have been with some such idea that the authorities simply incarcerated 
him (with his son and another of his companions, Perrot, or Parrot) in 
the cells of that Tower of London which had been the scene of this 
last exploit; for they seemed to be in no haste at all to proceed to 
extremities with him. The King seems to have been rather fascinated 
by the brilliance of his daring than angered by the thought that this 
man had nearly filched from him his crown. Only three days after 
his capture, Charles had him brought from the Tower to Whitehall, 
and examined him in the presence of his brother the Duke of York and 
the Duke of Buckingham. He could be brought to Whitehall, and 
sent back to the Tower by water, so quietly and secretly that the 
public would know nothing about it ; so that no popular excitement 
need be created, and no popular demonstration made. 

In this interview, his demeanour was so fearless and free that the 
King and his courtiers were favourably impressed, and he left the Royal 
presence with the conviction that he was sure of the pardon of his 
prince. The details of the interview, whether as narrated with a touch 
of melodrama by Hume, or as we may gather them from the State 
papers, must not detain us here. We may stay to note that he confessed 
to an intention not long before to waylay the King himself and shoot 
him when bathing in the Thames above Battersea ; and alleged as his 
reason a statement which goes far to establish his Puritan connections 
and sympathies that 'the cause of this resolution was the severity 
4 exercised over the consciences of the godly, in restraining the liberty of 
c their religious assemblies ' ; and that, with astute flattery of the person 
of Charles, he assured him that he was restrained himself, and was 
constrained to divert his associates from their purpose by ' an awe of 
' majesty,' reminding us of David's care to spare the life of Saul when 
Saul was helpless in his hands. As further confirming the view we have 
taken of this remarkable man, a newsletter sent to Bristol, conveying 
intelligence of the event, describes 'old (i.e., the elder) Blood as a 
4 professor in the late times ' ; that is, one who in the Commonwealth 
period claimed to be one of the godly party. Clearly his Puritan 
sympathies (and even profession) were a matter of common talk, even in 
face of all the obloquy cast upon him in connection with his daring 
enterprises in Dublin, Yorkshire, Scotland, and London. 

With regard to the attempt to steal the Regalia, it seems that Blood 
told the King he had no ulterior political purpose in his action ; it was 
not dictated by any personal hatred of the King, but simply * to make 
' their own advantage by the Jewels.' He considered himself aggrieved 
by the confiscation of his Irish estates, and would reimburse himself (and 
his friends) to some substantial extent by the sale of their booty. 

R. H. concludes his account of the interview at Whitehall by 
saying that at its close the King asked him this single question, ' What 


226 Detailed and Expository 

' if he should grant him his life ?' to which Mr. Blood is said to have 
replied, 'That he would endeavour to deserve it.' 

The pardon was not readily given. There would be many doing 
their utmost to dissuade the King from granting it. A week later 
Thomas Blood wrote a letter to the King (which has been preserved in 
the Record Office) * from the Tower, laying the blame of the design 
upon two of the Treasurers for the Navy, roundly charging them with 
heavily bribing him to undertake the enterprise. Such charges could 
not have been baseless, for Blood was too astute not to realize that 
if without foundation only to make them would certainly seal his fate. 

Evidently the matter was not readily cleared up, for it was not till 
more than two months after, that the King's first inclinations were con- 
firmed, and Blood's pardon was issued. During these months of close 
confinement, the health of his son and of himself began to suffer, and at 
the end of June they both petitioned Lord Arlington for some relief, 
and that his wife might be allowed to come and minister to them ; 
Mary Blood sending in a petition herself to like effect. Whether 
this boon was granted or no, there is no documentary evidence to show. 

We have the evidence of a letter from the Governor of the Tower 
to Williamson, that Lord Arlington took the Warrants for the release of 
Blood and Perrot, his associate, on Thursday, July 13; though Blood's 
son was left still for a time in closer confinement than before. 

Thomas Blood, then, passed out from the Tower into freedom on 
that Thursday evening, July 13, 1671, or the following Friday morn- 
ing, discharged from all fear of penalty for his last bold attempt. It was 
not for another fortnight, not till August I, 1671, that he received the 
King's pardon for all and any crimes of which he may have been guilty 
since the Recall and Restoration of Charles to the Throne [ c of all 
4 Treasons, Misprisions of Treason, Murder, homicide, Felonyes, 

* assaults, batteryes, & other offences whatsoever at any time since the 
'29 th day of May, 1660, comitted by himselfe alone, or together with 
' any other person or persons &c.' The date mentioned May 29, 1 660, 
was Charles II. 's birthday, the day chosen for making a ' Triumphant 

* Entry into the City of London ']. 

From August I, 1671, to the day of his death, August 24, 1680, the 
man who for the past eight years had lived as a hunted fugitive walks 
the streets of the city and the liberties of Westminster a free man. 
More wonderful than that, he passes from the rigours of close confine- 
ment in the Tower to the ease and influence of a trusted habitue of the 
Court and of Whitehall. 

Having once made up his mind to pardon Blood, the King is 
resolute to confide in and honour him ; and Buckingham seconds the 
King in this ' abandon ' of grace and favour. Nor can anyone allege a 
single fact to show that Thomas Blood, having once accepted the 
King's pardon, was other than unswerving in his loyalty, or faithful in 
his devotion to the interests of the King. Hume puts it strongly : t 

* S. P. Dom. Car. II. 293. 12. Of course, the question is a legitimate one 
whether the latter is a genuine one, and was ever delivered to the King, 
t Vol. VII., 482. 

The Indulgence Documents 227 

' Charles carried his kindness to Blood still further : He granted him an 
' estate of five hundred pounds a year in Ireland ; he encouraged his 
i attendance about his person ; he showed him great countenance ; and 
' many applied to him for promoting their pretensions at Court.' 

Carte (in his 'History of Ormonde,' II. 420-23) puts it more 
strongly still : ' He was admitted into all the privacy and intimacy of 

* the Court. No man was more assiduous than he in both the Secre- 
4 taries' Offices. ... He was perpetually in the Royal apartments, and 
4 affected particularly to be in the same room where the Duke of Ormonde 
4 was, to the indignation of all others, though neglected and overlooked by 

* his Grace.' 

Whatever our final judgment of his character may be, it is clear that 
he stepped from the Tower to a position in the Court and at Whitehall 
in which he was courted by many and feared by all. 

Two of the first* writers of the day cannot forbear to notice him, 
though naturally from different points of view. John Evelyn, the 
Loyalist, was invited to meet him at dinner by Sir Thomas Clifford, the 
Papist Commissioner of the Treasury (who by the end of the following 
year (1672) was made Lord High Treasurer), with several distinguished 
Frenchmen, whom Evelyn had known in Paris, while Charles was 
there an exiled Prince; and Evelyn was naturally much disgusted to 
have such an adventurer brought between himself and such gentility ; 
and Andrew Marvell, the 'patriot' Member of Parliament, who was 
distinctly republican and anti-prelatical in his sympathies, uses the 
incident of his adventure in the Tower as occasion to discharge the 
shafts of his satire against the priestly order in a Latin ode, celebrating 
the mercy Blood showed in sparing the custodian's life as the one fatal 
inconsistency between his conduct and his disguise; suggesting that 
had he been true to his role as priest, he would have despatched the old 
man and secured the Crown. 

And even Lord Holies was not ashamed to try to bribe him out of 
the country by the offer of the governorship of one of the convict 

One circumstance that is much to his credit, and invests him with 
special interest and importance to us, is that from the first he consistently 
used his newly acquired influence to further the cause of the persecuted 

One of the first things he was able to do if not the very first was 
to secure an audience with the King for John Hickes, the ejected 
minister of Saltash, who after the Five Mile Act had gone to live in 
Kingsbridge, and became the ' heart and soul ' of a little colony of Non- 
conforming ministers there. The details of the case are given in the 
account of John Hickes in the last section of Chapter IV. Suffice it, 
here, to say that the Second Conventicle Act had been applied in the 
neighbourhood of Kingsbridge with almost savage energy and by un- 
scrupulous men whose main object was to secure their share of the fines 
levied on convicted Conventiclers. John Hickes had published an 
Account of these proceedings, some copies of which had been circulated 
in London, and one put into the hands of the King. Warrant of 


228 Detailed and Expository 

arrest had been issued against him ; but he had adroitly extricated him- 
self from the officers sent to seize his person, and ridden up to London 
to plead his cause in person to the King himself. He had been a student 
in Dublin at the time that Thomas Blood was a Justice of the Peace in 
the neighbourhood of the City, and had got to know him as a person 
of some importance in that district in those early days. He had probably 
heard scraps at least of Blood's remarkable career, and all the world was 
ringing with his latest attempt in the Tower, his capture, imprisonment, 
release, pardon, and elevation to the favour and confidence of the King. 
By the advice, or at least with the concurrence, of friends, he sought out 
Thomas Blood in Westminster, put his case before him ; and promptly 
secured his mediation. That mediation was successful. The King 
granted John Hickes an audience, by the introduction and in the pre- 
sence of Thomas Blood. 

The King's indignation was stirred against his too zealous officers in 
Devon, acquitted Hickes of the unscrupulous charges against him, gave 
him full pardon for any breaches of the penal statutes against Noncon- 
formists of which he might have been found guilty, and freely remitted 
4 the King's third ' of the fines which had been extorted from him and 
his friends in the neighbourhood of Kingsbridge. So that Thomas 
Blood sent John Hickes back to his friends in Devon a happy man, 
with the King's pardon in his pocket, and inward confidence of early 
mitigation, if not the complete repeal, of the penal statutes against 

To this period, too, there is little doubt, must be attributed his 
intervention on behalf of three Conventiclers, who had long lain in prison. 
Two of them (Edmond Sconce of Hilderston or Hindolveston, and 
Nicholas Breeston of Briston) were both of Norfolk, and the third, 
Jonathan Jennings, was of London. The document presenting their 
case is preserved as S. P. Dom. Car. II. 140, 93 ; and that he was suc- 
cessful in his intervention for them is made fairly clear by (Sir) Joseph 
Williamson's endorsement : * 3 Conventiclers to be discharged M r 
Blood.' He had so much influence, indeed, at this time that he was 
able to thwart the persecuting purpose of so powerful a prelate as Seth 
Ward, now Bishop of Salisbury. [The completeness of the reports he 
had sent in to Archbishop Sheldon, in 1665, of the ejected ministers in 
his then Diocese of Exeter, and only two years before this (in 1669), ^ 
the ' Conventicles ' held in his present Diocese of Sarum, have already 
commanded our notice as proof of his energy and ability as a per- 
secuting prelate.] 

Seth Ward's biographer (Dr. Walter Pope) quite candidly states the 
facts. On the strength of John Hickes's case, and the King's arrest of 
further proceedings in the Diocese in Exeter, Thomas Blood brought a 
verbal message from the King to Bishop Ward not to molest the Non- 
conformists in his Diocese of Sarum. Dr. Pope goes on to say that the 
Bishop < was not willing to take instructions from such a one, and went 
< to wait upon his Majesty, and humbly represented to him that there were 
'only two troublesome Non-Conformists in his Diocese, whom he doubted 
' not, with his Majesty's permission, but that he should bring to their 

The Indulgence Documents 229 

< duty'; and adds : 'Then naming them, the King at once gave evidence 

< of the influence Blood had gained over him by saying, " These are the 
<u very men you must not meddle with"; to which he obeyed, letting the 
4 persecution against them fall.' Nor was his influence limited to this 
country. Political and Puritan exiles he persuaded to return, guaran- 
teeing for them the pardon and freedom the King had accorded to him- 
self. < He persuaded Desborough, Kelsey, and other disaffected persons 

< to return from Holland, and surrender to his Majesty,' says R. H., c and 

* it was publicklyitaken notice of that M r Blood was dayly with the said 
c Persons at M r White's Coffee House behind the Royal Exchange, where 

< they met in a Room by themselves.' Further, he is employed through 
them to feel the pulse of the City as to foreign affairs ; to get at the 
feeling of City men as to the alliance with France, and the contemplated 
rupture with Holland. 

It is clear that he found an ally ready to work with him in James 
Innes, who had been minister at St. Breock in the same county (Corn- 
wall) to which John Hickes belonged, but on his ejectment had not 
lingered in the neighbourhood of his old living as John Hickes had done, 
but had come up at once to London, and had been living in Westminster 
through the nine years that had elapsed since. Innes had found a per- 
sonal friend at Court in the person of Lauderdale, one of the Cabal 
ministry ; and through him he had been admitted to the favour of the 
King. Innes (called 'Ennys' or 'Ennis' by Joseph Williamson in his 

* Notes ') had been active in a secret sort of way before Blood got his 
liberty, enabling Richard Cromwell (whose sympathies were strongly 
with the Nonconformists) to evade the officers of the law and Court, 
and getting him safely out of their reach.* It is therefore more than 
possible that Innes had something indirectly to do with the grace ac- 
corded to Blood ; at any rate, a few weeks after Blood's release we find 
him in conference with Blood, heartily sympathizing in his desire to 
secure liberty to the Nonconformists. 

The effects of the pitiless persecution of the Nonconformists which 
followed the Second Conventicle Act in London and in the country 
had produced a strong revulsion of feeling in the minds of many, was 
rapidly strengthening Charles's inclination to try the effects of Indulgence 
instead of rigour, and by the late autumn was creating quite a stir of 
hope in the minds of the Nonconformists in the Metropolis. Many of 
them gained confidence enough to resume their worship in Conventicles 
which had long been closed, and negotiations were recommended by 
agents of the Court, through employes of Lord Arlington, with their 
leaders. The Presbyterians were divided into two parties : those who 
had been actually ejected in London taking a more moderate line, 
and in 1665 taking the Oxford Oath were nicknamed 'The Dons'; 
and the less compliant, who had refused to bind themselves not to 
attempt any change in Church or State, and who were for stronger 

* Williamson notes under date September 21, 1671 : ' Ennys is a shrewd fellow : 
' corresponds with the Dutch as he and Blood did. Has shuffled away Richard 
' while Blood was in hold. 3 The form ' Ennis' is an old, but authentic, alternative 
of ' Innes. ' 

230 Detailed and Expository 

claims and more immediate action, were called 4 The Ducklings.' The 
Independents and Baptists sided rather with the latter than the former, 
and judged that the King would respond to decisive demands far more 
readily than to cautious proposals. It is in the month of October that 
we first find these negotiations actively going forward. 

Blood takes part in them rather more casually, perhaps, than his 
associates, because he has so many other matters in hand ; while 
Dr. Nicholas Butler was employed wholly on this business, holding 
strongly the view that the Church of England would gain rather 
than lose by kindlier treatment of the Nonconformists. And with 
him was closely associated a ' M r Church ' probably Joseph Church, 
who had been ejected from St. Catherine-Coleman's, Fenchurch Street. 

Early in November (Nov. 2) Williamson notes : ' Only Ennys' inti- 
mate acquaintance are gone into their meeting.' [Were these his 
brothers-in-law, Thomas Vincent in Bishopsgate Street, and Nathaniel 
Vincent in Southwark, with the band of eager men who worked with 
him South of London Bridge ?] 'Blood's not at all yet' as though he 
had his special set. [Perrot, who was one of his comrades in his attempt 
upon the Crown jewels, was possibly the Baptist Robert Parrot, who 
was hanged in 1685 for his part in the Monmouth Rebellion. Were 
the Baptists specially trying to work through him ? or was it the Inde- 
pendents, and the Fifth Monarchy men ?] Nine days later, Williamson 
expresses the ' fear that Blood makes matters better towards the King 
' than they are,' and adds, < Blood disgusts his two friends by disappoint- 
* ing them.' Surely these are Dr. Butler and Mr. Church who are 
much more assiduous than Blood ever could be in anything. < They 
' think him too high, and values himself too much.' 

The whole question is made more difficult and delicate by the 
private ambitions of the several members of the Cabal. Buckingham 
had his strong views, which certainly were not favourable to the Roman 
Catholics as were those of Clifford and Arlington, though they all were 
favouring this policy of leniency to the Nonconformists. Blood entered 
on his new career distinctly as a protege of Buckingham ; but William- 
son wanted to annex him as an agent for Arlington and Clifford ; and 
for a time Blood is evidently complaisant enough to him and his patrons. 
Innes, naturally enough, is working for Lauderdale ; and is trying hard 
to engage Blood to strengthen Lauderdale's influence in London. 
Lauderdale was strong for an exclusive Protestantism, but his cruel per- 
secution of the Presbyterians in Scotland made him a bete noire to the 
London Nonconformists. It was therefore a very unhappy move on the 
part of Blood when he began to ' cry up ' Lauderdale. The complaint 
also grows that he is spending too freely and does not pay his debts, and 
is overweening in his boastfulness. We know that he had been victor 
in a bout with the Bishop of Sarum ; and now he seems to be courted by 
Ward's chief, Archbishop Sheldon, as Blood goes about boasting that he 
dines once or twice a week with the Archbishop of Canterbury ; while 
he mixes freely with the extremists (' phantasies,' Williamson calls them, 
or fanatics meaning, I suppose, Baptists, Fifth Monarchists, and 
Independents [?]). If 'jack of all trades and master of none,' the friend 

The Indulgence Documents 231 

of all parties <is trusted by none. By the end of the year, evidently, 
Williamson is inclined to drop him, and trust more entirely to Dr. Butler 
and Mr. Church, as the Nonconformists had lost their confidence in 
Blood. So that Blood begins to be a little anxious ; and feels it wise to 
call on the Governor of the Tower, and assure him that all his many- 
sided activities and conferences were in the interests of the King, and 
prompted by his devotion to his Royal Master ; and to write to Lord 
Arlington (Dec. 28, 1671) of a matter touching an agent in Holland to 
show how vigilant he is about foreign as well as home affairs. 

In this unsatisfactory way does the year 1671 end. Though what 
Blood had done in connection with the Nonconformists had been 
wholly for them and not against them ; it is clear that his concern for 
them was by no means his chief concern, much less his only one. 
Though his religious connections were certainly Protestant and anti- 
Papist, and Puritan or Nonconformist, and not Prelatical or Episcopal, 
they were not specially deep or spiritual. They were rather the sort of 
Puritanism which distinguished the rank and file of the Parliamentarian 
Oliverian armies a Puritanism of the Old Testament type, which 
justified and revelled in deeds of military daring and was brave and 
active to the point of a reckless carelessness of life. The more cautious, 
scholarly, and spiritual of the Nonconformist leaders would not be, and 
were not drawn to Thomas Blood. Any connection with him they 
feared would compromise their cause. So that though such men as 
Hickes would do what they could to get him trusted, they did not 
succeed ; and all active connection on Blood's part with the events 
which moved so rapidly in favour of toleration, and in the end issued 
in the Declaration of Indulgence, ceased with the year 1671. In the 
movements and conferences which marked the first ten weeks of 1672, 
Blood's name does not once appear : the only traces he has left in that 
period on the State Papers being of quite a secular character (connected 
with the Navy). 

Nor when the Declaration had been issued by the unanimous con- 
sent of the Council, and the Indulgence was in full swing, did he take 
any prominent part in its administration. He was apparently willing to 
do what he could without too much sacrifice of time or exertion ; but 
even then was not very eager to do anything gratuitously, taking up 
any case brought to him with the expectation of some pecuniary re- 
muneration, even when he had made no clear bargain with his appli- 
cants. Only twelve of the memoranda in Vols. 320 and 321 bear his 
name, or are in his easily recognized, slipshod handwriting. 

If I am right in attributing 320 (261) to Thomas Blood, it ought to 
be put much earlier in the volume somewhere between (64) and (70) ; 
for his application in it is for two Southampton ministers : Henry Cox 
and Gyles Say ; the former to preach in John ' Puckuridge ' (i.e., 
Puckeridge)'s house in Romsey, the latter in his own house in South- 
ampton. Now licences were granted for the former, Henry Cox, in 
April 13, 1672 [E. (19)]; so that Blood's application must have been 
as early as that, if not earlier still. Licences for the latter, Gyles Say, 
were not issued till May 2, 1672 *.<?., nearly three weeks later ; and if 

232 Detailed and Expository 

this application was made just before, the paper is placed in its proper 
position. In that case, however, this application for Henry Cox is 
much belated and utterly unnecessary. 

I am by no means clear, however, that 320 (261) is to be attributed 
to Thomas Blood ; and it would be safer, perhaps, to drop it out of this 
list. In that case, the first application to be attributed without question 
to Thomas Blood is 320 (142) ; and it is not without interest to find 
that if is for Anabaptists, the * extremists J or ' fanatics ' of Kent, London, 
and Berks. It was 'given in by Mr. Blood, 18 Apr. 72'; for Richard 
Gun to preach in two houses in Cranbrook, Kent ; for a Mr. Martin's 
house in White's Alley, Coleman Street, London ; and for two Baptist 
ministers of Maidenhead Mr. W. Ruthey and Mr. E. Gillett, to preach 
in two houses in Cookham, Mr. Jeffrey's, and Mr. Josie's. 

Licences were granted promptly for all of these, save two ; being 
issued two days after Thomas Blood's application viz., on April 20, 1672. 
The two exceptions were the houses of Mr. Josie in Cookham, and 
Mr. Martin, in White's Alley, Coleman Street, London. For the 
former, no reason is alleged, but no licence is entered in the Entry 
Books for it ; the application for the latter is marked ' not appr. 5 , and 
so we know that it was refused though applied for by Blood. Was this 
' Mr. Martin ' a member of Mr. Venner's Fifth Monarchy Church ? 

* 20 (151) must have been put in, either the same day as 320 (142), 
April 1 8, 1672, or the day following, April 19. This number (151) covers 
(or applies to) two pieces of paper in different handwritings neither 
of them Blood's. The first is annotated by Mr. F. Benson 'given in 
' by M r Blood.' As there is no such note appended to the second 
memorandum, we can deal with the former alone as that in which 
Thomas Blood interested himself. The application is for Mr. Wells, a 
Presbyterian, to preach in Mr. Weston's house in Sheepe Street, Ban- 
bury, Oxon. We are enabled to follow its fortunes. 

It was written by Mr. Wells himself and sent up to his nephew in 
London, as is clear from the address written on the back of it (now 
erased, but still quite legible) : ' To my very loveing Nephew M r William 
'Welles Hosier at the signe of the Talbot in Watling Street neere 
'Broad Street.' This Mr. Wells (Samuel Wells, M.A.) (Cal. III., 120) 
had been ejected from Banbury ; had been compelled in 1665 (by the 
Five Mile Act) to retire to Deddington, but had now returned to 

His nephew evidently applied to Blood to secure the licences for him. 
Blood's application is promptly attended to, and the licences were both 
granted on one or two days later viz., on April 20, 1672 [E. (35) and 
E. (36)]. In quite characteristic fashion, however, he does not com- 
plete his task by fetching the licences from Whitehall, and giving them 
to Mr. Wells's nephew. That he leaves to another, the distinguished 
Presbyterian minister and close friend of Philip Henry, Richard Steele 
[320 (242)]. 

Two memoranda follow one another in 320, which may probably 
have been presented at an interval of a fortnight or more viz., 320 (268) 
and 320 (269). The former is signed : 'Tho: Blood'; the second is 
unmistakably in Blood's handwriting. 

The Indulgence Documents 233 

320 (268), fn date, really comes between 320 (261) and 320 (142) ; 
so that if 320 (261) is not Blood's, 320 (268) would be the first memo- 
randum put in by him, and 320 (142) would be the second. 

The former, 320 (268), is an application for 19 licences: 4 for 
Northumberland, 3 for Lancashire, 9 for Essex, i for Middlesex, and 
2 for Kent. 

The four Northumbrian ones are all for Newcastle and all four for 
ministers, without naming any place for them. Three are described as 
Presbyterians : Henry Lever, Richard Gilpin, and Mr. Pingell (or John 
Pringle) ; the fourth is ' Congregationall ' Mr. Durrant (i.e., William 

These Northumbrian licences are made out promptly, and are entered 
in E. (23) and E. (24), as issued April 16, 1672. They are made 
out, not for the persons only (i.e., as a * general teacher' licensed 
to preach in any place ' allowed ' or * licensed '), but for the persons to 
preach in a particular place, the place being entered as being separately 
licensed and John Pringle (' M r Pingell ') is entered as an Independent, 
not a Presbyterian. The four persons have only three places assigned 
them : one place having two licences made out for it, one as a Presby- 
terian meeting-place, the other as an Independent or Congregational 
one. All three places are important public buildings in Newcastle : 
two of them Episcopal Chapels, (i) 'the Chapell at the Bridge end 
' joining to Magdalen Hospital!,' being licensed for Henry Lever ; 
(2) ' the Chapell in Trinity howse,' being licensed for William Durant. 
The third is a municipal building, ' the Moothall in y e Castle Garth,' 
and is licensed as a Presbyterian meeting-place for Richard Gilpin, and 
as an Independent meeting-place for John Pringle. 

Though the entries are dated showing surely that they were not 
only made out but signed both by the King and by Arlington in the 
margin, where we usually have a brief summary (of name, person, or 
place, and denomination), Benson has written the fateful words, 'not 
'approved nor given out.' It would seem that Blood had been instructed 
by his clients as to the ' places ' they ' desired,' although in the applica- 
tion memorandum he had only given their name and residence ; so that 
the ' places ' would be filled in by verbal instructions from Blood in the 
Office : and then, at the last moment, when the licences were all ready 
but no one had called at Whitehall for them, objection was made by 
' the authorities ' on the urgent pressure of the Church party and all 
eight licences were withdrawn. 

The three for Lancashire were all for Toxteth ('Toxtel') Park : one 
personal licence for Thomas Crompton, a second for his house, and a 
third for a 'Meeting house' there. Blood would be interested in these, 
which belonged to the South- Western corner of the county in the 
immediate neighbourhood of Liverpool as in the district where he had 
found his wife, and as a fugitive had found safe asylum more than once. 
These were not attended to for some time indeed, not until Gilbert 
Aspinwall, a Lancastrian barrister, now resident in London, had made 
a second and elaborately formal application for the licences, and then no 
licence was granted for Thomas Crompton's house. 

234 Detailed and Expository 

The Essex nine have such special features that I pass first to the one 
for Middlesex and the two for Kent. 

The Middlesex one is for a Presbyterian meeting-house in Kings- 
land ; and this, we learn from a second application which he has to 
make much later, is the house of a Mr. David King there (? called 
* King's house ') [321 (55)]. It is not very promptly attended to. It 
is in fact the last of this batch to be issued, the licence being dated 
May 13, 1672.* 

The licences for Kent are for Mr. James Simmonds, a Presbyterian, 
and the house (which we learn from 320 (267) is Mrs. Porter's, and called 
Court Lodge) in Lamberhurst (* Lamberhurt '), in the South- Western 
border of the county (possibly therefore in the district in which for the 
last few years he had found a shelter in the disguise of a physician, and 
under the alias of Mr. Allen, or Ayloff). These, again, had no atten- 
tion for a fortnight at least. 

Licences were not made out till May I, 1672. 

And now we come to the batch of nine for Essex, which gather 
round them a delightfully intricate network of difficulties and controversy. 
On this memorandum Blood makes application for : 

M r Kitly (Keightly) for his person and howse (we learn from the 

following mem. [320 (269)] ) of Abary Hatch. 

M r Willis for his own howse at Burntwood (alias Brentwood). [The 
clause ' Mr. Wills person licenced' was mistaken as it was ill- 
spelt. Mr. Willis's person was licensed at the same time as his 
house, May 2, 1672.] 

M r (Thomas) Gilson for his person & howse at the same place, 
* Burntwood ' : as well as for the houses of George Locksmith and 
William Maskall at Romford, and that of John Maskall at 

These were none of them attended to till the beginning of May. 
The delay may have been due to the violent * cheek ' given to applicants 
for licences, and to the agents through whom their applications were 
made, when, as in these four Northumbrian instances, the applications 
were for < Public Halls.' 

It is clear that many were taking these refusals very ill. And Blood 
is quick to raise his remonstrance against it. There may have been a 
touch of personal pique in his feeling, as the eight instances at Newcastle 
were cases in point ; indeed the cases had been made the more pointed as 
the licences had actually been issued, and, after issue and entry, had been 
revoked. On Wednesday, the 24th of April only eight days after 
these eight licences had been entered having occasion to write to Lord 
Arlington on another matter viz., the movements of the Dutch Fleet 
he says,t ' I perceive y* y e forbiding licences for y e Halls to Non- 
4 conformists gives to(o) much occasion to persons y l are disafected to 
' his maieties indulgence to raise ielousies. I humbly conceive it had 
4 bene a strengthening of his Maiesties Declaration y l so many corpora- 

* This case is more fully gone into in Cap. IV., sect, i., under the name Wills or 

f S. P. Dom. Car. II. 306, 63A. 

The Indulgence Documents 235 

' tion besides y e ministers had so actually seconded it. But I shall leve 

* it to y r Lord? 5 consideration.' This letter of Blood's (as shown by its 
endorsement) was not received till two days later viz. April 26 ; and 
it is a significant coincidence that on that day Dr. Nicholas Butler writes 
both to Lord Arlington and his chief Secretary on the same subject 
and in the same strain [320 (196) and 320 (197)]. In the first, to Lord 
Arlington, he uses just the word 'jelousies' which Blood had employed : 
4 1 should not bee faithful should I conceale y e dayly growth of Jelousies. 
c Protestant dissenters conclude this there (sic) liberty soe graciously soe 

* freely granted by his Majesty will bee shortlived in regard tis soe 
c stiffled in y e birth : publick places was declared should bee allowed, 
' now refused, &c., &c.' ; and in the second, to Sir Joseph Williamson, 
he writes : * I am sorry to heare it said, whoe is y e author of this Stop 
' of halls &c : my ears are daily beared with theese complaints &c.' 

The complaints of the public generally, however, seem not to have 
had any great effect, nor even the remonstrances of these advisers and 
intermediaries of the Whitehall authorities, Dr. Butler and Thomas 
Blood. In a separate chapter I have dealt with the whole question of 
large Buildings and Public Halls,* and there the reader will see that the 
facts and the numbers applied for, granted and refused, are of very 
various significance. 

Thomas Blood is not pleased to find his applications neglected, and 
it appears that his Essex friends pressed him with enquiries which he 
could not answer, for he applies again about the end of April. This 
second time his memorandum is wholly occupied with applications from 
Essex [320 (269)]. It repeats the previous applications for nine licences 
(making the application for Mr. Willis, of Burntwood, as distinctly as 
for his house), and he heads the list with a new application for Samuel 
Deaken, of Romford (making it clear that his previous application for 
George Locksmith's house was for Samuel Deaken to preach there) ; 
another for ' M r Wiston, Presbiterion minister' (who must be the 
Edward Whiston who had been ejected from Little Laver [Cal. II. 205]) ; 
and two for Mr. Erly, of ' Cogles ' (? Coggeshall), both person and house. 
This time they are all promptly issued, as the entries show in E. (72) 
and E. (73). 

With the exception of the first two mentioned (Samuel Deaken, of 
Romford, and his friend Locksmith's house there) they are all entered as 
issued May 2, 1672 (the first two being dated May i). Yet Thomas 
Blood does not trouble himself about them. [He has so many irons in 
the fire that this licence-business is by no means of first importance 
with him, and he had probably forgotten all about them, or thought that 
the applicants themselves might look after them, and go to fetch them ; 
or at any rate distinctly ask him or some other friend to go to Whitehall 
for them.] 

And on May 8 a week later (less a day) we find that Mr. 
William Mascall, surgeon, of Romford [one of the applicants whose 
name appears both on 320 (268) and 320 (269)], had come up to 
London specially to make (or 'put in') a separate application, on 

* Cap. VI. of this Section. 

236 Detailed and Expository 

- _ _ 

321 (27), for his friend Thomas Gilson, of Burntwood (former Rector of 
Little Baddow). MascalPs application is for licences for Gilson to 
preach at his own house, and at three other houses in different villages 
in the district ; and has a note appended to it : ' To be called ffor by 
William Mascall of Romford.' 

He is not able to go to London for some time, and meanwhile 
Thomas Blood is exerting himself afresh. It is not more than three or 
four days later (May n or 12) that Blood is at Whitehall, leaving 
another application-memorandum, calendared as 321 (55). 

The Mr. William Wells, Hosier, of Watling Street who got 
Blood to apply for licences for his uncle (Samuel Wells, of Banbury) 
is plying him again, as also a Mr. Sharpe, who is interested in two 
applicants in Kent (at Wittersham and Goudhurst). He seems also to 
have been appealed to by two ejected ministers : the one Richard 
Chantry, of ' Smisby, in Derby ' (i.e., Smithsby, in Derbyshire), and the 
other George Larkham ('Larkom'), of Bridekirke, in Cumberland. 

More, and perhaps more insistently than any of these, the four 
Newcastle ministers for whom he had applied nearly a month before, 
and had applied in vain convinced probably that it is useless to press 
their applications for Public Buildings have sent him word to apply at 
once for 'general licenses,'' and the last four lines in the memorandum are 
for them. The licences thus applied for are granted, being all but one 
entered, as issued May 13, 1672. 

The exception is George Larkom's, which had been issued five days 
earlier (May 8, 1672) the very day on which W. Mascall left his appli- 
cation at Whitehall. But for this there had been put in a separate 
application 321 (51), written on a scrap of paper, on which the Preamble 
of some Proclamation or other had been begun, but never finished : 
'Whereas by vertue of an Act of Parliament in the I4th yeare of our 

* Reigne Our Court of Admiralty is empowred to proceed upon Suites 
4 for Prize-Goods . . .' ; the memorandum itself reading, < George 

* Larkham in his owne howse at Hameshill in the parish of Bridekirke.' 
George Larkham, apparently, had tired of waiting for his licences, 
either ignorant of the fact that he would have to fetch them himself or 
get some one to call for him, and so had asked Blood to try where his 
previous friend (as he thought) had failed. And Blood puts in an appli- 
cation, though he might have had the licences for asking, since they had 
been ready now four days past. 

As all the other licences are dated May 13, it is more than probable 
that this mem. 321 (55) was put in May n or 12. 

On some day subsequent to May 1 3 though it is possible it was 
late on the I3th itself Blood calls at Whitehall, and takes away four 
licences for he hands in a Receipt for them [321 (136)] : two for 
persons, and two for places. The two place-licences are two for which 
he had just applied, on 321 (55), at Mr. Sharpe's desire for R. Tufton's 
house at Wittersham, and Sam Turke's house in Goudhurst both in 
Kent, which are entered as issued May 13, 1672 [E. (lll)and E. (110)]. 

The personal ones are those for Mr. W. MascalPs friend, Thomas 
Gilson, and Gilson 's colleague and friend Keightly (Kitly), which Blood 

The Indulgence Documents 237 

had applied for first, or 320 (268), as early as April 16 ; and which, 
with all the others applied for then, as well as the whole batch of Essex 
licences applied for in 320 (269), had been granted, and their entries in 
E. (72) and E. (73), dated May 2, 1672. 

And now a curious thing happens. With these two personal 
licences in his pocket, or his cabinet drawers and we know not how 
many more of the large batch of Essex licences, issued twelve days 
before, and ready ever since to be taken away on the very day after he 
had got these personal licences, viz., May 14, 1672 Blood writes a letter 
to Mr. W. Mascall, which has been preserved in duplicate at the Record 
Office as 321 (143) and 321 (144). The fact that the Whitehall 
authorities got and kept possession of it shows two things. First, that 
Mr. Mascall did not like what it involved and implied, so took it to 
Whitehall to show Sir Joseph Williamson ; and second, that Sir Joseph 
asked Mr. Mascall to leave it with them. The importance of it in the 
eyes of Sir Joseph Williamson is further decisively proved by the fact 
that Benson makes a copy of it by Sir Joseph's instructions. 

It is short and quite worthy citing entire, as it presents (in a form 
full of personal interest and value) the problem of the conditions on 
which applicants could obtain licences. 

It is addressed : < For M r William Maskall Chirurgion at his howse 

Romford these ' 
and runs : 


4 1 have sent you here inclosed those Licencis you gave mee a note 
for if you need any other convenient placis to be Licenced you may 
have them, there is noe charge for them only it is agreed that 55. 
apeece for the personall licences should be gotten and y e dorekeepers and 
underclarkes should afterwards be remembered by a token of love this 
is all at present from 

Yo<" frind, 

4 May 14: 72.' 

4 My kind respects to all our frinds.' 

Now we know that, besides the two which he had already in his 
possession, there was only one other personal licence applied for by 
Blood in the first memorandum [320 (268)] which dealt with any Essex 
licences viz., that for Mr. Willis, of Burntwood ; though, in addition 
to these, he had applied for three more about a fortnight later, in 320 
(269) viz., those for Samuel Deaken, Mr. Edward Whiston, and 
Mr. Erly. 

Those had all been issued by May 2. Yet Blood did not take any 
of them away (at any rate he has left behind him no acknowledgment 
of having received any) for a fortnight later, and then only these two, 
for Mr. Gilson and Mr. Keightly. 

But these two are just those in which his correspondent, Mr. 
William Mascall, is most interested; and for one of them, Mr. Gilson's, 

238 Detailed and Expository 

he (Wm. Mascall) had personally applied on the 8th of May. So that 
Blood is distinctly holding back two personal licences, which he knows 
his Essex friends most ardently ' desired.' 

The licences for places he despatches. What licences they are is a 
little doubtful. He does not name them, but describes them in these 
terms : ' those licenses you gave me a note for.' 

Are they the places named in 321 (27) or those named in 320 
(269) ? Those mentioned in 321 (27) are only the four which Mr. 
Mascall ' desired ' as places for Mr. Gilson to preach in (his own house 
in Brentwood), Mr. Reeve's house in Childerditch, Mr. Harris's at 
Margaretting, and Mr. Harroode's at Little Baddow. But it cannot 
have been these, as that for Mr. Reeve's house in Childerditch was not 
issued till July 16, 1672 (two months later), and the last (Mr. Harrod's) 
seems never to have been issued at all. (There is no entry of it in E.). 

That for Mr. Gilson's house had been made out six days already, 
when Mr. Mascall left his paper, and it certainly is a singular thing that 
the officials did not give them to him. The remaining licence for the 
house of Mr. Harris of Margaretting was made out at once for it is 
dated in the entry book, May 9, 1672 [E. (94)] the very next day 
after Mr. Mascall applied for it. 

It seems much more likely, therefore, that the places Mr. Mascall 
gave Mr. Blood a note for, are those named in 320 (269). These were : 
Mr. William Mascall's own house, and Mr. George Locksmith's, at 
Romford ; Mr. John Mascall's at Morrice ; Mr. Keightly's house at 
Abary Hatch ; Mr. Erly's at Cogles (Coggeshall ?) ; and both Mr. Willis's 
and Mr. Gilson's at Brentwood (< Burntwood '). 

The last line of the memorandum, claiming Mr. Gilson's person and 
house, written on the back, is in Blood's hand, showing pretty clearly 
(if the rest of the memorandum is in another hand), that Blood added 
this request for Mr. Gilson, at the time he gave it in. 

If this is a correct interpretation of the facts, it certainly makes it 
particularly ' unhandsome ' in Blood to keep Gilson's back. 

The facts, on any reading of these difficult points, are thus far clear. 
Though sending Mr. William Mascall a large batch of licences for 
4 places ' in Essex, the receipts for which are not preserved, but which 
certainly included licences for the houses of Mr. Keightly and Mr. 
Gilson, he does not send the two personal licences for ' M r Kitlye ' and 
' M r Gilson,' the receipts for which are preserved. It is not easy to 
trace the fate of all the other personal licences, asked for on the same 
memorandum viz., Mr. S. Deaken's, Mr. Whiston's, Mr. Erly's, and 
Mr. Willis's. 

Mr. Deaken's was issued May i, and was fetched the following day by 
John Hickes [320 (281)] . Mr. Whiston's does not appear to have been 
granted, there being no entry of it either in E. or in B. All the others 
were issued May 2, though there are no memoranda extant to show 
when they were taken away. 

What followed the despatch of this letter, with the place licences en- 
closed, is told in detail in the account of William Mascall. 

Suffice it to say, that Mascall conveyed the licences to the Essex 

The Indulgence Documents 239 

friends for whom they are made out ; but that both of his ministerial 
friends, Mr. Gilson and Mr. Keightiy, were nettled as well as dis- 
appointed that their 'personal' licences have not been sent with their 

Mr. Gilson, especially, had evidently debated the circumstance very 
fully with his friend William Mascall ; trying to find some explanation 
for it which would not impugn the kindliness and honesty of Thomas 
Blood. But no sooner had Mascall left him, than suspicions which 
had suggested themselves in the course of their talk, stiffened into con- 
victions he could not shake off. He therefore wrote at once to Mr. 
Mascall, telling him he felt sure that Blood had been acting an un- 
handsome and an illegal part to him and his friend Keightiy : that he 
had received their personal licences at the same time that he had received 
the place-licences ; but had kept them back to get his fees (of five shil- 
lings a piece) on them. 

Mascall evidently is inclined to accept Gilson's view ; but instead of 
writing to Blood about it (as Gilson suggests), decided to go to London 
and represent matters at headquarters. Accordingly he went to White- 
hall, taking both letters with him (Blood's and Gilson's), showing them 
to Sir Joseph, and at his request leaving them with him. 

There can be little doubt that Thomas Blood would be required by 
Sir Joseph Williamson to give up these personal licences, or to send them 
on without delay to Mr. Gilson and Mr. Keightiy, and without any 
money payment. And surely there is as little doubt that these good 
ministers would see that Sir Joseph's clerks, etc., should get some 
honorarium, if they found it ' the usual thing.' 

The next document bearing Blood's name is another memorandum 
of Receipt. It is calendared 321 (194). 

But there are two scraps, each an application, numbered 321 (191) 
and 321 (193), which are both in Blood's handwriting. 

i. The first is endorsed ' Glocester,' and is an application for a 
house in^Marshfield, county Gloucester, for a| Presbyterian meeting-house. 
Curiously enough the owner's name is ' Gloster.' 

* The house of John Gloster Esq. of Marshfeeld in y e County of 
' Gloster Presbiterian.' 

Marshfield is at the extreme south-east corner of the county, some 
five miles north of Bath. 

The licence was issued (promptly, I fancy) on May 16, 1672. Only 
the name is strangely changed to ' Gostlett ' (two other licences being 
issued for the name Goslett, John and Thomas). 

2. The second is a torn fragment containing application for 
licences for two other houses, which are also issued the same day, May 16. 
But they are for the Midland County Stafford, in the small village of 
Longdon, quite near to Lichfield : 

' The house of Christian Hood in Longdon 
' The house of Edward Brughton in Longdon.' 

In 321 (194) the licences acknowledged are all for the North ; four 

240 Detailed and Expository 

i .... .... . .. , , , .. . ._ , . .. , .. . -i i. .,.., ._. . . , ^.. , . , . 

for Bradford, Yorks, two personal viz., those for George Ward and 
John Hall and two for places viz., George Ward's house and the house 
of John Balme ; and one for (Toxteth Park) Lancashire viz., one for 
James * Brisco ' (/'.*., James Briscoe). Though the memorandum is not 
dated, it was probably left at the same time as 321 (191) and 321 (193) 
on May 15 or 16; as all the licences were issued May 16 [E. (126) 
andE. (127)]. 

Some difficulty arose in connection with the last. Mr. Blood men- 
tioned no * place ' in connection with James ' Brisco.' Very naturally, 
therefore, the licence was made out as for a ' general teacher ' (' to be a 
4 teacher, and to teach in any place licensed and allowed '), and is entered 
on E. (124) with the date May 16, 1672. [The Bradford licences are 
entered for the same date.] But though Thomas Blood signs this 
receipt for James Briscoe, and must, therefore, have taken it away from 
Whitehall, the actual licence is still preserved in the Public Record Office 
as 321 (165), as though it had been never called for. It is every way 
complete, signed above by the King, at the foot by Arlington, and dated 
May 1 6, 1672, It must, therefore, have been rejected by the applicant, 
and taken back by Blood to Whitehall, with the request that it might 
be altered into a particular licence, allowing him to preach in the 
meeting-house already licensed eight days before (May 8) as a Presby- 
terian meeting-place (for Thomas Crompton to preach in) ; also on 
Blood's application [320 (268)]. 

Of course, the licence could not be altered. The printed part of the 
licence for < a teacher in a certain place ' was different from that for ' a 
* teacher in general.' So that a new one had to be made out : which 
evidently was done, though not for nearly a fortnight later, as we see on 
E. (142), where a * Licence ' is entered to ' James Briscoe to be a Congr. 
' Teacher in the Meeting howse in Toxtell Parke, Lancastr. 29 May.' 

Only two other licence-documents have been preserved bearing 
Blood's name. They are 321 (210) and 321 (328). 

Both are applications. The first bears date May 19, 1672 viz., 321 
(210). He applies on it for only three licences : two for Reading, Berk- 
shire viz., for Mr. Christopher Fowler (which he spells * Fowlard ') to 
preach in the house of Griffith ' Bubly ' (should have been * Bully ') 
and one for Leytonstone, in Essex, for the house of Alderman Andrews 
there. It is an utter failure. 

The first part is attended to promptly enough. A licence was made 
out for 'Christopher Fowler of the Presbyterien perswasion to be a 
4 Teacher of the Congregation allowed to meet in a Roome or Roomes 
c in the house of Griffith Bubby in Redding in our County of Berks'; 
but a similar fate befalls it to that which befell James Briscoe's ; only 
further enquiry at Whitehall (? on the part of Thomas Blood) prevented 
the matter being carried so far. Though c made out ' (/.*., the blanks 
in the printed form filled in by Mr. Benson), it was never signed nor 
dated, and it remains among the State Papers 321 (257) an imperfect 
document a licence never issued and therefore never taken away. 
There is a mistake in the name of the house owner, * Bubby ' (instead 
of Bully) ; and that might have accounted for its being < held up ' at 

The Indulgence Documents 24.1 

Whitehall ; but we have ample proofs that it was not completed for a 
more distinct reason than that. 

On the one hand, Griffith Bully's licence for his house in Reading 
was granted. It is entered on E. (135) as issued May 25. John 
Hickes had applied for it before Thomas Blood on 321 (122). 

And, on the other hand, Christopher Fowler himself withdraws his 
application for Reading (through Blood), by going up to Whitehall and 
leaving an application 321 (265) for a licence to preach at his own 
house < in the village of Kennington in the parish of Lambeth * ; and 
his application at once has its result in a licence, entered on E. (137) 
4 to be a Presbyterian teacher in his house in Kennington, in the Parish of 
4 Lambeth, Surrey, and another for the house of Christ. Fowler there.' 

I say, at once, though it is not dated, because all the rest of those 
entered on the same page are dated May 25, 1672. Another defect is 
that there is no separate licence entered for his house. 

Blood had already put in an application for 'Allderman Daniell 
Andrew's hows at Laitonstone in Essex for a presbiterion meeting place,' 
as desired by Mr. Wells of Watling Street, London. But this^ second 
application on May 19, 1672, was altogether unnecessary. Two applica- 
tions had been made on his behalf by James Innes, junr. [321 (21)] 
and [321 (118)], the first of them certainly before Blood's first applica- 
tion ; and two licences are entered in E. as granted to him : the 
first entered on E. (Ill) dated May 13, 1672 only the name is wrongly 
given as 'Daniel Andrey,' and the second on E. (114), dated May 
1 6, 1672, which last was actually taken away by James Innes, junr., the 
day before Blood made his second application viz., on May 18, 1672 
[321 (206)]. So that in this case, too, Blood's efforts were not very 
happy or successful. 

The last of Blood's memoranda is 321 (328) : an application for 
two licences for Yorkshire, and one for Sussex. 

The Yorkshire licences are for Thurnscoe 4 Thursco ' Blood calls 
it for a ' Mr. Will Benton,' a Presbyterian who had been ejected from 
the living, to preach in his own house there, though excluded from his 
old pulpit. Though the memorandum is undated, it probably belonged 
to the month of June. The application was promptly attended to : and 
the licences issued June 10, 1672 [E. (162)]. 

The Sussex licence is 'for the Presbitter to mete and preach 'In the 
' loft over the Markett place in Pettworth which they Hire.' The response 
to this is not nearly so prompt ; and it is by no means clear that it had any 
response at all. Two houses in Petworth are licensed ; and both are de- 
scribed as private property : (i) Jeoffrey Dautrie's, licensed July 22 [E. 
(201)] (the entry by a curious slip places Petworth in Essex) ; and (2) 
Henry Phillips' s, which was licensed August 10. In my first classifica- 
tion I followed the lead of the Whitehall officials, and identified the 
former with the meeting-place applied for by Blood.* I am distinctly 

* For in I. an imperfect Index of Licences granted, drawn up by direction of 
Sir Joseph, but never completed the last of the entries under Yorkeshire (Presby- 
terian) is PetwortH 'A Roome over the Markett howse in Petworth belonging to 
'Jeoffrey Dofty. Yorke, 25 July.' 


2^2 Detailed and Expository 

of opinion now, that the identification of the Index (I) is a mistaken 
one, and that Blood's ' loft over the Markett Place ' is to be identified 
with neither ; and that being, in a sense, a Public Hall (though 
hired by the Presbyterians), his application is refused. If that be so, 
Thomas Blood's career as a licence-agent ends as it began : by a futile 
application for a Public Hall. His first application was before April 16, 
for three Public Buildings in Newcastle, Northumberland ; and his last 
is in June for a Public Building in Petworth, Sussex. And both are 
failures. Still it stands distinctly to his credit, that though the authori- 
ties are still swayed by a bigoted exclusiveness, against which he wrote 
to Lord Arlington in protest, he does not hesitate to put in another 
application for a Public Building. 

The next document calling for special notice is one that chrono- 
logically comes between the last examined and the last but one. 321 
(210) is dated May 19. 321 (328) probably belongs to the month of 
June. The document I proceed to quote is dated May 23. 

It shows him as much more effective in larger enterprizes (enter- 
prizes needing keenness of outlook and promptitude of action) than in 
the detailed clerkly work which is needed for effectual licence-agency. 
And we ought to emphasize the fact that it evinces a watchful regard 
for the welfare of persecuted Nonconformists. It has come to Blood's 
knowledge, either as the result of active personal enquiry, or by the 
report to him of those who have learned the facts, that many of those who 
have been incarcerated for their Nonconformity by the operation of the 
second Conventicle Act, are still languishing in prison, spite c the suspen- 
' sion of all penal statutes against such as do no conform to the Church of 
' England ' published in the Declaration of Indulgence ; men who, if at 
liberty, would without doubt wish to avail themselves of the In- 
dulgence. And he writes to Lord Arlington asking him to see to it that 
their pardons be issued at once. It is evident, too, that his request is 
granted, as the endorsement in Sir Joseph Williamson's handwriting 
runs < M r Blood, May 23. 72. Prisoners in Graft Goales to be 
* pardoned.' 

It is numbered [303 (103)] and is addressed : < For the Right 
4 honor ble the Erie of Arlington these.' 
It reads : 

' My Lord, 

* According unto y r LordP 3 direction I Inquered after y e order of 
Councell for y e relese of prisoners and find it to be no larger than upon 
letters sent to y e Sherrifs of each county for an accompt of what 
quakers were prisoners upon y e accoumpt of conscience and no other 
crime, that y e Atturney generall should draw up a pardon for to 
contain them all, to which have bene added some others since, by order 
of Councell, but I cannot find any other Order of Councell that relates 
to prisoners, so y 1 many are like to remaine still in prison y l are of other 
perswasions than quakers. And understanding that y r LordP by y 
Kings apoyntment hath by warrant releced some that petitioned hi 

The Indulgence Documents 243 

Maiesty I humbly offer to y r LordP whither it be not y e best way 
to peticon his Maiesty for these prisoners incerted in this inclosed, that 
they may be releced by spetiall warrant conditionall that they be in for 
no other crimes then such as are mentioned in y e sayd list of prisoners, 
but if y r Lord p thinke it not a convenient way, I humbly desire y r 
LordP 5 directions, these are prisoners recomended unto my care, and I 
would willingly have my reputation kepte up that I may be the better 
inabled to sarve his Maiesty. 

' If yo r Lord p think fit to signify your pleshure herein by M r 
Bridgman or any other way, it shall be obsarved by 

4 Yo r Lord p most obliged servant 
< May 23. 72.' < THO BLOOD 

[The Mr. Bridgman, mentioned in the last sentence, is probably the 
Clerk of the Council, who is twice referred to by Evelyn in his Diary : 
the first time in 1676 (under date Aug. 15) ; and the second time 
in noticing his death on May n, 1699. 

The list of Prisoners is added in a separate document, calendared as 
303 (103 I.) : 

< Edward Ebdon*) CUT? 

John Benn tt fpnsnorsm Southgate Lxon on excommunication 

Tho. Egbearej jprisnors in Stoke Canon in Devon on excomu- 
Elizabeth Gine j nication 

Samuel Hart ). p ^. , , , c .,. 

Henry Forlyii ^pnsnors in y e Kings bench for non \ conventiclmg 

Alexander Edwards 
Walter TrincombU 

William Lob** 
John Dierft 
Charles Coek 
Will. Steevens 

pirsoners in Bodmin Cornwall upon excom- 


* I.e., Edward Ebdine, licensed May 22/72 as Congreg 11 to preach at Dame 
Drake's house, Topsham, Devon. Rec d by Rich d Prowse, May 25/72 [E. (129)]. 

f There was an Edw. Bennett, ejected from W. Morden, Dorset (Cal. II., 139- 
140), and a John Bennett E. fr. Whitwick (Leic r ) [Cal. III., 524], but was in London 
till 1672. 

{ Licensed for Asburton, Devon (end of Oct r ), 1672 \al. 'Egbeale'; also C.] 
[E. (266)]. 

Stoke-Canon, 4^ mm. north-east of Exeter, belongs almost wholly to the Dean 
and Chapter of Exeter Cathedral. The Bishop must have had his own special prison 

|| A John Forly's ho: in Totness, Devon, was lic d Ap. 30/72 [E. (46)], and taken 
away by John Hickes. (Was Henry F. a bro. in London 1) 

If A Nathaniel Tincombe is reported in 1665 as ej d fr. Lascelles and living at 
Fowey [R. 308 and 413] ; and Theophilus Tincombe was lic d (t r and ho:) at Lost- 
withiel, May 29/72 [E. (148)]. 

* Richard Lob's house in Knewyn (called ' Treworder House ') was lic d Ap. 16/72 
[applns. 320 (99 and 100) ; He. entries E. (24 and 25)] ; and another house of his, 
called ' Falmouth House ' in Mylor, was lic d the same date Stephen Lobb was lic d 
to preach at both. 

ft John Dier (Dyor) was lic d (on appl. of John Hickes [321 (53, 54)]) to pr. at 
Martock, May 13/72 [E. (103)], and later at E. Chinnock (Som s ) [E. (285)]. 

1 6 2 

244 Detailed and Expository 

prisoner in the comon Goal at Exofi for pmunire 

Samson Lark* 

Will: Facyt 

John Adams* 

Roger Rowe 

Francis Hart 

4 Tho. Gower prisoner in Durham Goalie on excomunication 

4 These are all presbiterians, Independents, and Annabaptists.' 

From the identifications given in the notes it will be seen that the first 

two pairs were probably Congregationalists of Devon (generally speaking) 

in the Exeter district Topsham being on the estuary of the Exe, and 

Ashburton in the valley of the Yeo, an affluent of the Dart ; that the 

third pair were Baptists of Totness, Devon : that the Bodmin prisoners 

were Presbyterians of Cornwall ; that Sampson Lark was a Baptist of 

Dorset (Lyme) and Will Facy a Baptist of Tiverton, Devon ; and the 

rest probably belonged to Somerset and Wilts. 

A second appendix to Blood's letter was a list, identical in its 
4 personel ' with the above only arranged somewhat differently. It is 
calendared [303 (103 II)] ; and endorsed : < M^ Blood's paper.' 

' Alexander Edwards-\ 

William Lob 

John Dier [prisoners in Bodmin in Cornwall upon ex- 

Charles Cock comunication 

Will. Steevens J 

Edward Ebdonjprisnor in Southgate in Exon upon excomunica- 

John Bennet J tion 

Samuel Hart ) . 

Henry Forly J \ 

T?r'u S. T?^ 
Elizabeth Pine 

Samuel Lark 
Will Jacyil 
Roger Rowe 
Francis Hart 

' Mr. Tho. Gower, prisoner in Durham Gaole upon excomuni- 
cation there is a certificate from Sir Gilbert Garrat y e for y* only hee 
is a prisoner. 

' These desier by y e King's warrant to be discharged.' 
This is the last document which shows any active interest on the 
part of Biood, in the working of the Indulgence of 1672. At the close 
of the year he was deeply engaged in trying to get possession of his 
confiscated Estates : appealing to the Earl of Arlington to get the King 
to issue a writ of error, and so secure a reversal of his outlawry. This 

* Sampson Lark was a Baptist of Lime Regis (Lyme Town Records). 

f William Facy was lic d as a Baptist teacher at Tiverton in Martin Dunsford's 
house, May 25/72 [E. (141)]. 

| A ' M r Adams ' was reported in 1669 as teaching at conv. in West Monkton 
(Soms) [R. 143]. 

A Tho: Rowe was lic d (both t r and ho:) for Wimborne, May 8/72 [E. (76) and 
E. (77)]; and John Rowe's house in Shobrooke, DV, Ap. 21/72 [E. (103)]; John 
Rowe is rep d in 1669 as teachs conv. at Barwick-Bassett in Wilts [R. 250]. 

II Facy. 

T ~. , f XT r 

Km & s bench for Nonconformit y 

n Stoke canon in Devon for excomunication 

.in y e Comon gole in Exon excomunication 

The Indulgence Documents 245 

was done, and after other intermediate legal processes, the King's 
Warrant was issued May 27, 1673, an( ^ received in Dublin June 10, 
1673. ' For Thomas Blood to have a writt of Error for reversing the 
* Judgment against him for high Treason.' The actual document is 
preserved in the MS. department of the British Museum (Stowe Col- 
lection, Vol. 202, p. 81). Blood went to Dublin to see the matter 
through, taking the King's warrant with him. He stayed in Ireland 
long enough to discover a hoard of stolen plate valued at 1,500, which 
he petitions the King may be handed over to him as c treasure trove ' in 
the King's gift. We do not know whether he actually secured it. The 
only other glimpse of him we have in the State Papers, is through 
a Report he sends to Sir Joseph Williamson of the proceedings in 
Parliament against the shattered remnants of the Cabal ministry. On 
the passing of the Test Act both Clifford and Arlington had resigned. 
Clifford died soon after by his own hand ; Buckingham and Lauderdale 
were impeached; but an attempt made to impeach Arlington failed, and 
he was astute enough to secure a snug berth at Court as Lord 

Though with the withdrawal of the Declaration (Feb. 1673) and of 
the licences granted under it in 1675, the hopes of help from Blood were 
all blasted, and in their bitter disappointment, the Nonconformists, and 
especially the Presbyterians, poured the vials of their wrath upon Blood's 
head ; he remained true to the cause of Protestantism to the end. When 
he broke with Buckingham (on what ground we do not know) he was 
relentlessly persecuted by his former patron ; and most astutely, Blood's 
dealings with Roman Catholics, conducted in reality in the interests 
of the Government, only to worm their secrets out of them, were 
represented by Buckingham as proof of his treachery to the Protestant 
interest. It was a sincere trouble to Blood ; and Dorman Newman (a 
great Puritan printer, who in 1672 was active in securing licences for 
his friends under the Indulgence) published a Book in 1679 to expose 
these tactics : ' With an Account of their particular Intreigues carried 
< on to insnare Mr. Blood, and several other considerable Persons, with 
4 the happy Discoveries thereof.' 

His health was shattered, and these proceedings preyed much upon 
his mind ; and he died at his house in the Bowling Green, West- 
minster, on August 24, 1680. His will showed that he died 'in the 
* faith of the Lord Jesus Christ '; and that he preserved an equitable 
love to all his surviving children. 

246 Detailed and Expository 



As hinted in the last chapter but one, the essentially ' personal ' or 
4 individual' character of the 'Indulgence' of 1672, had necessarily the 
most direct consequences on the mode of its administration. The King 
was its one source ; and to him every would-be recipient of it had to 

Before the Indulgence could be of benefit, Licences had to be secured 
by the individuals ' indulged ' ; so that, if challenged, they might show 
them to any properly constituted authority. The ' Licences ' were of 
three classes: (i) For a Teacher to preach in a specified 'place'; 
(2) for a Teacher, to preach in any licensed place (often described as a 
' General Teacher ' or ' a Teacher in General ') ; and (3) for a ' Place ' 
(i.e., 'for the use of such as do not conform to the Church of 
England '). 

They were partly printed and partly written. The printed form 
declared on the part of the King what was common to every licence of 
its class giving 'approval^ to the Teacher, and Royal authority to preach 
and conduct Nonconformist Worship ; or ' allowance ' for a ' place '- 
which was also Royal authority to the owner to open the doors of his or 
her house for public Nonconformist Worship. Blanks in these printed 
forms were left ; (i) in all three classes for the name of the Sect to which 
Teacher and worshipper belonged the phrase used was 'thePerswasion 
'commonly called'; (ii) in those of the first class, blanks also for the 
name of the Teacher, and the name and description of the 'place' 
where he may hold services; (iii) in those of the second class, 


additional blank for the name of the Teacher alone : and 

in those 

of the third class, one also for the name and description of the ' place r 

Among the documents reproduced in Vol. I., two or three in 320, 
give us incidental information as to when and how these forms were 
decided on. The final decision was probably given by the King in 
Council ; but the preliminary processes were under the control of Lord 
Arlington ; who left all the details of work in his department to his 
Chief Secretary, Sir Joseph Williamson. 

It further appears, from these documents, that Sir Joseph largely 
consulted Dr. Nicholas Butler, whom he had employed (in conjunction 
with Mr. Church and Colonel Blood) in the pourparlers and conferences 
with leading Nonconformists which had issued in the Declaration of 
Indulgence on March 15. 

These documents also make it evident that the Declaration was 
issued some days before details were arranged as to the precise forms to 

The Indulgence Documents 247 

be used, and the procedure to be followed, in administering the 

In 320 (3) we find Dr. Butler writing to Sir Joseph, with regard 
to a scheme which he had suggested. He says, * I humbly desire -his 
' Majesty and thoese two honourable persons ' probably Lords Arling- 
ton and Clifford ' may see the whole I writ, and noe more. 1 

The scheme (as I have shown in my account of Nicholas Butler) 
sketched the procedure generally to be followed both by the King in 
granting the Indulgence, and by those who sought it including forms 
of ' licences ' to be issued to the ' indulged.' 

This letter was dated Friday, March 22nd exactly a week after 
the Declaration had been issued. 

Seeing that the King had declared war against the Dutch only two 
days after issuing the Declaration, one can hardly avoid the conclusion 
that the King had been thus ' previous ' in the publication of the 
Declaration because he was eager to declare war against the Dutch. 
The Declaration of Indulgence must precede the Declaration of War, 
so as to quiet and distract the Nonconformists ; and though matters 
were not properly ripe for it, and details were not yet settled, the 
Declaration of Indulgence must be issued so as to clear the way for the 
Declaration of War. 

The very next day (Saturday, March 23rd) he writes again to Sir 
Joseph [320 (4)]. The sketch submitted was not distinct enough on 
one or two points. Apparently only tw,o classes of licence were con- 
templated at first : one for the Teacher in a certain defined place, and 
the other for the ' place ' where he was to hold the service : the pre- 
supposition of this being that the applicant for licence as a Teacher was 
the minister of a congregation, which in spite of the penal statutes had 
met regularly in a definite place (either in a private house, or in a build- 
ing erected for the purpose). In the interval between presenting the 
sketch scheme and his writing this second letter, it had occurred to him 
in further conference with Nonconformist leaders* that there were many 
Nonconformists who had 'gathered' no conventicles about them either in 
their former spheres, or in London whither they had fled, so that they 
could not mention any specific ' place ' in which, or c people ' to whom 
they would desire a licence to preach. Yet the very fact that they had 
so far observed the law, instead of breaking it (as was the case with 
those who could claim a congregation and a ' place ' as peculiarly their 
own), was a reason why they should be specially provided for rather 
than excluded from the scope of the King's Indulgence ; and Dr. Butler 
accordingly suggests that a third class of licence should be added (f.*., 
one for ' a general teacher ') : < I offer,' he says, < that all nonconformists 
' which have not a people, if they desire it, may have a licence to preach 
* in any licenced place.' 

In the very next document, too [320 (5)], Dr. Butler, writing on 
the following Wednesday (March 27), refers to some other special 
arrangement evidently connected with the Indulgence, but so cryptic 

* It will have been noted that in his previous letter [320 (3)] he had said : ' Since 
' I was with you I had severall with me.' 

248 Detailed and Expository 

in its phraseology that any interpretation is scarcely more than a guess. 
On a review of the whole situation, however, I have little hesitation in 
suggesting it must partly refer to the way Roman Catholics may be 
treated under it. < The words for that particular is agreed as I gave it 
' viz., that they be licenced upon extraordinary family occasions, to keep 
*a day of fast or thanksgiving in a private family with a moderate 
4 number ' and partly to services held , at weddings or before private 
baptisms or funerals for Protestant Nonconformists as well. 

If I am correct in the interpretation, the suggestion came to nothing 
as far as the testimony of any of these licence-documents is concerned. 
There are no special licence-forms for exceptional meetings in Roman 
Catholic houses j or, indeed, in Protestant houses on any particular 

The result of these conferences was that three licence-forms were 
decided on of the three classes already described. [320 (7)- (17)] (Vol. I., 
pp. 198-203). 

Of these we have no less than eleven samples in 320. 
(i) 320 (7), (8), (9), and (9A) are of the Form for a Teacher in a 
specific place. 

320 (7) is printed in Vol. I. so as to be a replica of the actual 
printed form, in which, though it is much smaller in size, the type of 
the Licence-forms actually issued is reproduced as nearly as possible. 
[The same, of course, is true also of 320 (10), and 320 (13).] 320 (8) 
and 320 (9) are written forms almost identical, though a close 
examination will disclose slight variations in spelling and the use of 
capitals. In (9A) the salutation is abbreviated, and instead of the 
blanks left in the other copies (as in the printed form) for the name of 
the Teacher, the name of the place, and the name of the Sect or 
4 Perswasion,' we have capital letters : A B for the Christian name and 
surname of the Teacher, C for the name of the place, and D for the 
name of the Sect. 

(ii) 320 (10), (11), (12), and (12A) are forms for a General Teacher. 
The printed form comes first ; and, as in the previous case of the 
written copies, the last is abbreviated and capital letters are used instead 
of blanks : A B (as before) representing the name of the Teacher, and 
C representing the c Perswasion ' to which he belongs. 

(iii) 320 (13), (14), (15), and (ISA) gives forms of a Licence for a 
Place. As in the other two cases, the first is the printed form, the other 
three are written copies, only in the last, the salutation is not abbre- 
viated, the capitals A and B are not used ; but C is employed for the 
Place and D for the 'Perswasion.'* 

Of each of these three series the last seems to be in the handwriting 
of Sir Joseph Williamson's principal clerk, Francis Benson. 

In addition to these, we have two large sheets, numbered 320 (16) 
and 320 (17) ; each containing drafts of all three forms of licence. In 
both of these the salutation is prefixed to only the first of the three 
forms. But in other respects they differ. 

* It is interesting to note that Sir Joseph has used the back of 320 (51) to jot down 
a memorandum of Henry Godman's application for a licence to preach in ' a certaine 
' place in y e Upper Towne of Deptford.' 

The Indulgence Documents 249 

In 320 (16), which seems to be in Benson's handwriting, the 
description of each form is prefixed to it as a titlej and the order of the 
forms differs from the order in which copies of each of the three have 
already been given. 

In that, the form for a Teacher in a given Place comes first ; for a 
Teacher in General, second ; and for a Place, last. In this we have 
' Licence for a Teacher in Generall,' first ; ' Licence for a Place,' 
second ; and * Licence for a Teacher,' last. In all of these, however, 
instead of Capital letters for the blank spaces, we have dotted lines. 
[The endorsement of the paper is curious, 'Forme of Licences for 
' Teachers ' (although the second is the form of Licence for ' a Place '), 
'Apr. 1672.'] 

In one way 320 (17) is the most interesting of the whole series, as 
it is all in Sir Joseph Williamson's handwriting. 

Here the Salutation common to all is given separately at the head 
of the three different forms in a fashion much more logical than that 
of his clerk, who prefixes it to the first of the three forms. 

The description of each, moreover, is given in a marginal indented 
note, at the left hand of each of the three forms. But the order is 
different, alike from his clerk's summary 320 (17), and of the four sets 
of copies of each. They are as follows, both in form and order : 
(i) <Y e Teacher of a certaine Congregation'; (2) <Y e Place'; and 
(3) ' Teacher in generall & at large.' The document is endorsed quite 
correctly, * Forme of Licenses.' 

Most probably we have in 320 (17), the actual document which 
would be given by Sir Joseph Williamson to Lord Arlington to present 
to the King in Council for their approval. 

The separate sets would probably be drawn up in writing as the 
result of conference and discussion of details with Dr. Butler ; and these 
drafts in 320 (16) and (17) were almost certainly drawn up, the one by 
his clerk, and the other by Sir Joseph himself. 

In the printed forms, preserved in (320) (7), (10), and (13), we have 
the exact skeleton of licences as actually issued, and with them before 
us we can reproduce the actual form of the licence issued in any 
particular instance. We have simply to fill in the blanks in accordance 
with the facts as known (and we may add, as preserved for us in the 
Entry Books, B. and E.). 

[This does not appear to have been realized by historians who have 
reproduced the licences granted to their heroes which have been pre- 
served. They often cite them as though the form were special to the 
case they are dealing with, suggesting that, in any other, the form might 
considerably vary.] 

When we examine carefully the form of each kind of licence finally 
adopted, we find that its phraseology is largely and intentionally 
reminiscent of that of the Royal Declaration. 

The Salutation reminds us of the list of persons who, in the third 
paragraph of the Declaration, are commanded to ' take notice of,' ' and 
' pay due obedience to ' the Royal will and pleasure therein declared 
(viz., that the execution of all, and all manner of penal laws in matters 
< ecclesiastical against whatsoever sort of non conformists or recusants be 

250 Detailed and Expository 

' immediately suspended '). In the Declaration the persons enumerated 
are 'all judges, judges of assize and gaol-delivery, sheriffs, justices or 
' peace, mayors, bailiffs, and other officers whatsoever, whether ecclesi- 
'astical or civil.' 

In these licences the salutation reads : 'Charles by the Grace of God 
' King of England, Scotland, France, and Ireland, Defender of the 
'Faith, &c.* To all Mayors, Bayliffs, Constables, and other Our 
' Officers and Ministers, Civil and Military, whom it may concern, 
' Greeting.' The first line of the list in the Declaration is of officials, 
whose duty under the Penal Statutes was with the arrest and trial of 
Nonconformists on the charge of conventicling, coupled with an 
intimation that under the Indulgence that duty entirely lapses. These 
are not specially concerned with the ' licences,' as subordinate officers 
are enjoined henceforth not to bring Nonconformists before them who 
are furnished with Indulgence licences. 

These, therefore, 'judges, judges of assize, and gaol-delivery, sheriffs 
' and justices of peace ' are not addressed in the licences. Of the rest, 
the ' mayors, bailiffs, and other officers whatsoever, whether ecclesiastical 
' or civil,' addressed in the Declaration, are all addressed in the Licences, 
save the ' officers ecclesiastical,' who have no concern henceforth with 
Nonconformists, except to leave them alone. But in the licence- 
greeting, ' Constables, and other Our Officers and Ministers, Civil and 
' Military,' are specified, because in making these licences effective, these 
guardians of the public peace, trained bands, and the soldiery may be 
called in to protect the licensees from attack or injury. 

Further, every one of the forms commences with a reference to the 
Declaration of Indulgence as a reminder that the licence is granted under 
the Royal Indulgence so declared : ' In pursuance of our Declaration of 
'the 1 5th of March 167^.' [The alternative form of the date shows 
the transitional character of the period. It is in view of the fact that the 
Old Style was not finally to be dropped till September 2, 1752. As 
the year ended with March 31 in the Old Style, but with December 31 
in the New, March 15 was still in 1671 .Old Style, but in 1672 
New Style.] 

In the Licences for a Teacher in a certain place, and for a Teacher in 
general, the phrase used to describe the Royal authority given to him 
differs from that used in the Declaration. The Declaration speaks of 
the necessity of the King ' approving ' the teacher of a congregation. 
The Licences say ' We do hereby ' not ' approve,' but ' permit and 
' license ' him. 

In the case of the Licence for a place, the licence-form echoes the 
words of the Declaration. In the Declaration the King had spoken of 
' allowing ' a sufficient number of places, &c. In the Licence, he says : 
' We have allowed, and We do hereby allow of ' so-and-so to be a place ; 
and the other two forms speak of ' a Congregation allowed by Us,' and 
of ' any other place licensed and allowed by Us.' 

The description of ' the place ' allowed or licensed, however, is most 

* The way in which ' France ' is sandwiched between Scotland and ' Ireland ' 
will strike the modern reader as very odd, though it is full of historical interest of a 
most absorbing kind. 

The Indulgence Documents 251 

directly an echo of the terms of the Declaration. Both in the Licence 
for a Teacher of the Congregation allowed in a special place, and in the 
Licence for a place, it is described as * for the Use of such as do not 
' conform to the Church of England,' adding in the latter case, ' to 
' meet and assemble in, in order to their publick Worship and Devotion.' 
It is exactly in these terms that the King in his Declaration promised to 
i allow a sufficient number of places, as they shall be desired, in all parts 
'of his Kingdom, for the use of such as do not conform to the Church of 
' England to meet and assemble in, in order to their publick worship and 

* devotion.' 1 

One clause of the Declaration is most generously expanded in the 
last paragraph of the Licence-form for a ' Place.' The King in his 
Declaration had given as one reason for insisting on the distinct 

* allowance' of each recognized Meeting-Place, and 'approval' of each 
licensed Teacher, 'that they may be better protected by the civil 

* magistrate,' and in the Licence for * a Place,' this is the instruction he 
issues to the guardians of the public peace : ' And all and singular Our 
'Officers and Ministers, Ecclesiastical, Civil, and Military, whom it 
may concern, are to take due notice hereof ' (this is an echo of the 
paragraph in the Declaration before referred to) : ' And they, and every 
' of them, are hereby strictly charged and required to hinder any tumult 
c or disturbance, and to protect them in their said Meetings and 
' Assemblies.' 

Here, indeed, is a turning of the tables. Until the Declaration was 
issued March 15, 1672, the duty of these same 'officers and Ministers, 
' Ecclesiastical, Civil, and Military,' had been to suppress, and disperse 
any of these ' Meetings and Assemblies,' or even better, by any means 
(including the forcible closing of the meeting-places) to prevent them ; 
and in 1670, even in the City of London (as well as all over the 
country), right merrily and ruthlessly had they done it, creating tumult 
and disturbance in the carrying out of their odious work. Now they 
were to protect these same Conventiclers, whenever they gathered for 
' their public worship and devotion,' and ' hinder any tumult or dis- 
'turbance' on the part of their persecutors, ecclesiastical, civil, or 

Thus distinctly and fully did the Licences express the intentions and 
re-echo the very phraseology of the Declaration of Indulgence, in 
accordance with and furtherance of it. 

Before they could have any value to the recipient, however, not only 
must the blanks be filled in with particulars clearly describing him and 
his ' desire,' including the date of issue ; each licence must be signed 
above by the King in person, and at the foot, just below the words, 
' By His Majesties Command,' by some member of the King's Council. 
In a few cases Lord Clifford did so. In every other case it was by one or 
other of the Principal Secretaries of State ; between two or three scores 
by Sir John Trevor, and all the rest probably by the Earl of Arlington. 

The King, the members of the Council, and his principal Secretaries 
of State, then, were the only persons from whom the licences could be 
obtained, because they, and they alone, could grant them in form which 
would give them validity and authority. 

2 $2 Detailed and Expository 

In theory, of course, that might be done, wherever King and Court 
happened to be, whether in St. James's, in Whitehall, at Windsor, at 
Newmarket, at Portsmouth, or at Dover. 

Yet it was only in one particular spot, and from one particular place, 
that practical facilities existed for the purpose. 

For Charles II., London was the settled place of his abode, and 
Whitehall was his favourite Palace. It was in Whitehall that his 
Court was mostly held ; and it was in Whitehall that were found the 
offices of those most closely associated with him in the administration of 
the Indulgence. It appears that any Cabinet Minister was authorized to 
act for him, or with him, in ' allowing ' a * place ' or ' approving a 
4 person,' but of the five who formed the Cabal, neither Buckingham 
nor Ashley (Shaftesbury) ever exercised this power. 

Buckingham, through his levity, did not care to be troubled with 
it. It remains a problem, which calls urgently for solution, why 
Shaftesbury, so stalwart a Presbyterian, and soon to become once more 
the champion of popular rights in matters both civic and religious against 
the oppression of either Church or State, all through this period should 
have remained so silent and inactive, that his name never once appears 
in the State Papers as taking any part in the furtherance or working of 
this measure, and that he should never once have used his great influence 
to secure the benefits of the Indulgence for those who 4 desired ' them. 
Lauderdale, too, acts in this business, but very intermittently, and that 
only through his secretary. So that Clifford, Trevor, and Arlington 
were left usually to work with the King, or in the King's behalf. 

Clifford was, at this time, the presiding genius at the Treasury, 
though he was not created Lord High Treasurer till the November of 
this year. He had so little to do with the issue of licences under the 
Indulgence that it was almost wholly left in the hands of Trevor, 
Arlington, and his subordinates. 

Whenever the King was in Town, he resided either in St. James's 
Palace, or in the warren-like buildings of the Court and Palace of 
Whitehall. It was these which naturally became the local centre 
and headquarters of those who worked the Indulgence, and issued the 
Licences granted under it. 

The buildings and grounds, collectively known as Whitehall, 
covered the space between what is now Whitehall Place on the North 
and New Scotland Yard on the South ; being bordered by Whitehall on 
the West, and by the River on the East. The present Embankment 
occupies what was then the ' foreshore,' covered only at high-tide, and a 
bank of oozy mud at low-tide, over which the piers and steps carried 
passengers, at any state of the tide, to and from the Whitehall buildings 
and the boats or barges. These ' piers ' and steps were called respec- 
tively Whitehall Palace Stairs, at its northern end (near the Chapel and 
the Great Hall), and leading from the river to very near the Northern 
corner of the Great Courtyard ; and the Privy Stairs, about the centre 
of this area, leading from the river, directly to the Royal Apartments, 
and past the Queen's Wardrobe. Along the irregular southern side of 
the Great Courtyard lay a block of buildings, which at its north-western 
corner joined the southern end of Inigo Jones's great Banqueting Hall, 

I 1 

The Indulgence Documents 253 

the only part of the ancient Whitehall which now remains. It is this 
block of buildings in which we are most interested. 

Running almost East and West, it had the Great Court Yard behind 
it on the North, and the spacious ' Privy Garden ' in front of it on the 
South. Broadly speaking, it consisted of four sets of apartments. The 
western end of it contained the office of the Lord Keeper, where was 
lodged the 'Great Seal.' Next to this, eastwards, were the Treasury 
Chambers. The largest and easternmost block contained the ' Lodgings ' 
and offices of the Chief Secretary of State ; and between these last two, 
in the centre of the building, was the Royal ' Office,' known as ' The 
' King's Laboratory and Bath.' 

In this year of 1672, Sir Orlando Bridgeman occupied the smaller 
apartments at the western extremity of the block ; Lord Clifford pre- 
sided at the Treasury ; and the easternmost part of the block was 
occupied by Lord (later, the Earl of) Arlington. These were the 
buildings in which the details of the licence-scheme were wrought out 
by Sir Joseph Williamson, with the assistance of Dr. Nicholas Butler. 
Here Sir Joseph was the resident authority and presiding genius, and it 
was from this building alone that the Indulgence Licences could be 

It is well, therefore, to realize as vividly as possible their position, and 
the means of communication between them and the great world outside. 
In the centre of its southern front one door opened on to the north- 
eastern corner of the Privy Garden, but this was the private entrance 
of Lord Arlington, and possibly of Sir Joseph Williamson as his con- 
fidential secretary. It is from this door that Lord Arlington, and Sir 
Joseph, would have easiest access to the King's ' Laboratory.' 

The door most used, however, was one in the eastern-end wall 
opening almost directly on to the road leading to the Privy Stairs, and 
communicating by a sort of courtyard with the Great Court behind the 
Offices. It is not likely that any save the King and Court were 
allowed to use the Privy Stairs, so that, for the general public, access 
to Lord Arlington's offices would be from the Great Court of White- 
hall, through the courtyard just described, whether they came by land 
through < Whitehall ' street, or by water to the Whitehall Palace Stairs. 

Between the two doors in Loid Arlington's Lodgings, was the 
entrance to 'The Stone Gallery,' a sort of Piazza which extended 
almost due north and south, flanking the Privy Garden along its whole 
extent on the east, and dividing it from the various suites of apart- 
ments, which communicated with one another by labyrinthine passages 
and courtyards much after the fashion of the Pensioners' Lodgings at 
Hampton Court and were bordered on the east by the river bank. 
This Stone Gallery appears to have been used as a * rendezvous ' for 
men who had public business in Westminster, whether in connection 
with Court or Parliament : and it is of especial interest to find that 
in one of the Licence-documents Arlington's Office is addressed 
postally as 4 in Stone Gallery.' 

321 (153) is an application for six licences, all for Congregationalists 
in the East Riding of Yorkshire (Hull and its immediate neighbour- 
hood), made May 15, 1672, by one ' Robert Collier ', and is addressed : 

254 Detailed and Expository 

* S r Joseph Williamson, 

4 At the Earle of Arlington office, in Stone Gallery.' 
All this, and much more, may be gained by a glance at Fisher's ex- 
cellent plan (here reproduced), which is almost contemporary with our 
period, having been 'taken in the reign of Charles II. in 1680' only 
eight years after the issue of the Declaration of Indulgence. 

Further, by the aid of the Indulgence Documents, we are enabled to 
form a fairly complete idea of the Whitehall staff, who were con- 
cerned with the preparation, the granting, drawing up, and issue of 
the Licences. 

Beside the staff in Lord Arlington's office where by far the 
greater part of the work was done note should be taken of the fact 
that Sir John Trevor, as one of the Secretaries of State, was fully 
qualified to sign and issue Licences. His offices were situated in a blind 
alley, the southern end of which opened out from the north-western 
corner of the Great Courtyard, their back-yards being separated from 
' Whitehall ' Street by a high wall which was unbroken by any entry 
or door along its whole length between the two entrances to Scotland 
Yard on the north and the great Palace Gate on the south. 

This he did to a limited extent, and he might have continued 
to do so for a much longer period had it not been for his prema- 
ture death in this year of 1672. 

I. Sir John Trevor. 

Sir John Trevor was born 1626, at Tremlyn, Denbighshire. In 
1646, when not twenty-one, he entered Parliament as Member for 
County Flint. He is described as of Channel Row, Middlesex, and 
of Plas Teg, Flintshire. In 1654 he was again returned for Flint. In 
1655 he was placed on the Committee for Trade, and in 1657 on tne 
Commission for the Survey of Forests. Politically both he and his 
father were 'moderate' Parliamentarians : and early in 1660 (Feb. 23) he 
was admitted to Monk's Council of State. In the Convention Parlia- 
ment, 1660, he was M.P. for Arundel in Sussex. In 1661 he was 
elected for Great Bedwin, Wilts. 

In 1663 he had some responsible employment in France. 

In 1667 he was admitted to the Council of State. Pepys refers 
to this under date Dec. 30. In alluding to the many changes which 
followed the fall and exile of the Earl of Clarendon, he speaks of 
' The King being going to put out of the Council so many able men ' 
and among them ' Secretary Morrice to bring in Mr. Trevor.' 

From February to May, 1668, he was again in France, going to 
Paris on a special mission, and on May 2 to St. Germain's to ratify a 
Treaty with France. 

On his return to England he was knighted. In the month of 
September, Pepys twice refers to his rapid rise in the Royal favour. 
'Sep. 9: 1668. M r George Montague . . . talked and complimented 
' me mightely . . . who, for news, tells me for certain that Trevor do 
4 come to be Secretary at Michaelmas, and that Morrice goes out, and, 

The Indulgence Documents 255 

' he believes, without any compensation.' Ten days later he harps on the 
same string. c Sep. 19: 1668. All the news now is that Mr. Trevor 
is for certain to be Secretary in Morrice's place, which the I Duke 
* of York did himself tell me yesterday.' The appointment was 
actually made in 1669 Trevor having bought Morrice's Secretaryship 
for 8,000 or ^10,000 so that rumour had been wrong in saying 
Morrice was to have no compensation. Under date March 22, 1669, 
Pepys writes : ' Sir W. Coventry told me that he was going to visit 
4 Sir John Trevor, who hath been very kind to him.' 

According to Sir Joseph Williamson, Sir John had Nonconformist 
leanings, which we can well believe in view of his Parliamentary con- 
nections in the 'Interregnum.' In 1671, January 18, he was appointed 
on the Committee to report on the petitions of Irish owners of property 
who had been dispossessed by Cromwell. 

Under date May 26 of that year (1671), Evelyn refers to Sir John 
Trevor as ' the other Secretary ' his allusion being to the ' Earl of 
4 Arlington, Secretary of State ' as amongst those who inaugurated the 
work of i the Commissioners! of Trade and Plantations, ... in the 
' Earle of Bristol's house in Queene Street [Lincoln's Inn Fields].' 

In July 2, 1671, he was appointed Commissioner to report on the 
settlement of Ireland, and early that same year was associated with 
Ashley, Clifford, and Arlington in the negotiations with the States 
General for alliance with them. 

In 1672, when the Indulgence was in full swing, he took his share 
in issuing Licences, which he treated as items of Royal Patronage in 
Ecclesiastical Affairs and entered accordingly in his Entry Book No. 27. 
This volume is entitled on the back ' 27. S.P. Dom. Entry Books, 
1 Ecclesiastical and Universities 1667-1678 '; and on the side, < Church.' 
The book is written from both ends. The end following the side- 
cover, which bears the word ' Church,' contains all the Ecclesiastical 
appointments in the patronage or gift of the King ; and it is in this half 
of the volume that some fifty of the licences granted under the Declara- 
tion of Indulgence are entered. 

The following are specimens of the kind of benefice thus entered as 
in the Royal Gift : 

July 2, 1667. A letter to the Dean and Chapter of Exeter Cathe- 
dral commending Dr. John Wilkins (who was the following year 
appointed Bishop of Chester) one of the King's chaplains, to a Canonry 
in the Cathedral in place of Mr. Nay lor whom they had elected. 

July 17, 1667. A Conge d'Elire of Dr. Francis Davis to the 
Bishopric of LlandafT. 

August 10, 1668. The Royal Permission to the Lord Mayor and 
Alderman of the City of London, to remove the stone rubbish from 
the ruins of St. Paul's to the lower parts of Fleet Street to raise the 
roadway to a proper level. 

January i, 1669-70. Dr. Tillotson is presented to the Dean and 
Chapter of Chichester Cathedral for the next Canon Residentiary. 

June 9, 1670. Dr. Edward Stillingfleet is presented by the King to 
the next Prebend of St. Paul's, London. 

256 Detailed and Expository 

June 10, 1671. A Royal Commission is issued to Humphrey 
(Henchman), Bishop of London, to * visit ' his Diocese. 

Jan. 8, 1671-72. The King appoints William Wenslow to be 
Vicar Choral of Sarum Cathedral. 

February 5, 1671-72. The King appoints William Hoare Master 
of Lutterworth Hospital. 

Mar. 1 8, 1671-72. He presents John Cradock, M.A., to the 
Rectory of St. Peter's, Walpool, Norfolk. 

And on March 27, 1671-72. The King presents Joseph Sedgwick, 
M.A., to the Rectory of Allthorp in the Isle of Axholme, Lincolne.' 

These last two appointments were made after the Declaration of 
Indulgence was issued ; the first only three days after it, and the second, 

It is after this that the entries of Licences granted under the Declara- 
tion of Indulgence commence. The very next entry (on p. 30) is of 
four Licences under the Indulgence : but they are followed at the foot 
of the same page, by a * Corroboration of William Wade M.A. to the 
4 Rectory of Broadwater in Sussex.' 

The nine pages next following this c Corroboration ' are wholly 
occupied with Licences to Nonconformists ; but on p. 35 appointments 
to benefices in the Established Church are resumed in the Recom- 
mendation of John Wood, B.D., to the Dean and Chapter of Sarum 
for the next place of Canon Residentiary in Sarum Cathedral ; and these 
are continued to the end of the volume. 

With regard to these Licence-entries one or two things may be 
noted, (i) As in the case of Lord Arlington's Entry Book 3 8 A, the 
continuous series of licence-entries in B. commences with two specimen- 
licences entered in full viz., those issued to Henry Lukin of Matching, 
Essex, for a general licence ; and to Edward Casse, of the same place, 
for his house there [B. (30^)]. (2) Of these the first is signed < J. Tr.' 
So also is the Licence granted to William Wallace of East Deane, 
Sussex [B. (32)]. And one entry at the head of p. 316 for the two 
licences for Nathaniel Robinson to preach in Mrs. Knight's house 
in Southampton is signed in full, <J. Trevor.' (3) The house- 
licences are entered in the briefest terms, as merely supplements or 
appendices to the preaching-licences. (4) In these Licence-entries 
there is a curious chronological irregularity. The first entered is for 
April 9, and the third [B. (30/>)] for April n. But on the following 
page [B. (31)] April 17 is followed by April 12 ; and further on 
April 13 follows April 17 ; and again it follows April 15. It suggests 
that Sir John had given no definite instructions to his clerk at the 
outset, and that the memoranda which had been preserved were entered 
in the haphazard order in which they were taken up for entry. 

The last licence entered [on B. (34^)] that to Jerome Gregory, 
of Little Marlow, Bucks bore date May 17, 1672.* Sir John's mortal 
illness must have followed immediately afterwards, for he died of fever 
May 28, 1672, and was buried at St. Bartholomew's, f Smithfield. 

* This licence is preserved in the Congregational Library, Memorial Hall, London. 
t This is given, in Wood's ' Fasti,' as Church of St. Bartholomew's, and should 
mean St. Bartholomew's the Less, the other being known as the Priory (see Stow). 

The Indulgence Documents 257 

Only for two months, therefore, after the issue of the Declaration, 
had Sir John any part in the administration of the Indulgence. For 
these two months, moreover, the great bulk of the work was done 
at Arlington's office as was the whole of it after May 17. 

Only one other member of the ' Cabal ' beside Lord Arlington took 
any active part in the matter. Shaftsbury the one Minister whom we 
should naturally suppose would be most energetic in securing this 
4 liberty ' for Nonconformists did absolutely nothing. In the whole of 
these Indulgence-documents his name does not once occur. Lauder- 
dale, too, appears only, mediately and on one or two occasions, through 
his secretary. But Lord Clifford, the Lord High Treasurer, occasion- 
ally does show an active interest. 

In view of the fact that, though very occasionally he actually 
countersigned licences, as did Sir John Trevor, a brief account of him 
may not be out of place. Indeed, the reason of his active intervention 
in certain instances, can be understood only in the light of his public 

2. Lord Clifford. 

Thomas Clifford was the eldest son of Hugh Clifford, Esq., of 
Ugbrooke (near Chudleigh), in Central Devon; was educated at 
Exeter College, Oxford, and chose rather to share young Charles's exile 
than remain in England and acknowledge the Commonwealth. In 
the first two Parliaments of Charles II. 's reign he was member for 
Totnes, the nearest borough to his native place. In 1664 he was 
appointed, in conjunction with Sir John Evelyn and two others, Com- 
missioner for the Sick and Wounded and Prisoners of War ; in 1665, he 
served with great distinction in the Fleet, under the Duke of York, in 
the first war against the Dutch, and was knighted for his conduct ; and 
henceforward he made rapid advance in the King's service through the 
active influence of Lord Arlington. In 1666 he was appointed Comp- 
troller of the Household ; in May, 1667, was made one of the Lords 
Commisssoners of the Treasury ; in the April of this year, 1672, was 
created Baron Clifford of Chudleigh ; and on November 28 of this same 
year was made Lord High Treasurer of England. 

For some time before this he was the most active and influential 
of the Treasury Commissioners, so that he was often, and officially, 
called * Mr. Treasurer ' before the Office had been actually reinstated.* 
Throughout our period the Treasurer's Lodgings, therefore, were really 
his Office, though he was not formally installed there till November, 
occupying the block west of the King's Laboratory, as Arlington did 
the block east of it. 

Five documents in these volumes contain his name, and show his 
influence in this Indulgence business ; two of them directly proving his 
authority to issue the licences. 

* Thus in 1671, in the month of May, Evelyn twice ' Dined at M r Treasurer's ' 
(Sir Thomas Clifford) : the first time (May 10) with a motley company, including, 
besides M de Gramont and ssveral French noblemen, ' one Blood, that impudent 
' bold fellow, etc.' ; and the second time, May 17, in which he suspected him to be a 
little warping to Rome. 


258 Detailed and Expository 

1. First, we have a letter, directly addressed to him, reproduced as 
320 (42), asking him to grant two licences. 

Although clearly addressed : < For the right hon bl S r Tho Clifford/ 
it is, most unfortunately, unsigned. It reads : 

* May it please you S r , 

' M r Francis Whiddon of Totnes desires his Ma ties Licence to 
'preach to a people of the Non Conformitye. 
4 The place his owne house in Totnes. 
'Hee is of the Presbeterian JudgmV 

One is tempted to suggest, and is free to suppose, that it was 
written and sent up to London by Francis Whiddon himself. 

The appended postscript, however, makes it more likely that it was 
some resident in London personally known to Lord Clifford who acts 
for his friend in Devon. 

' Your Honour,' he adds, * is desired to mind M r Wood M r 
' Stenning's friend.' 

Clifford's connection with Devon, both as a native of the county, 
and specially as Member for Totnes, most naturally explains Francis 
Whiddon's somewhat unusual course. In the Commonwealth times 
Whiddon was Rector of Totnes, and after his ejectment in 1662 he 
still remained in the town, and was held in high esteem as belonging 
to a good county family, as well as for his work's sake. He was, 
therefore, known personally to Sir Thomas Clifford ; and Mr. Stenning 
would be known to both. * Sir Thomas ' was still only * the right 
* hon ble S r Tho. Clifford,' because (though he was created Baron in the 
month of April this year) it was not till the last day of the month ; and 
this letter must have been written quite early in the month, as on 
E. (11) we find Whiddon's personal licence entered as issued April 1 1 ; 
and the licence for his house the same date on E. (15).* 

2. There is also a second letter, of earlier date than this, which 
contains his name viz., 320 (35) though it is not addressed to him. 
The letter was written by James Inness, senior, to Sir Joseph William- 
son. The body of it refers to two Southwark Nonconformist ministers 
viz., Nathaniel Vincent and William Whitaker. And with that part 
of it Sir Thomas Clifford has nothing to do. But a P.S. follows which 

* As to the name ' Wood ' mentioned in the postscript of 320 (42), there can be 
little doubt the ' M r Wood ' whose case Sir Thomas is asked to ' mind ' is William 
Wood of Tiverton. In another letter [321 (50)] addressed to Sir Thomas now 
' Thomas Lord Clifford ' in a very bungling attempt at French, ' Monceare le Cheva- 
' leare Clufford, ' the writer says : ' I bespoke a Licence for M r Saunders to preach in 
' the howse of W m Wood of Tiverton in Devon.' The first application for a meeting- 
place for Mr. Saunders had been made for ' the English Schoole howse in the Town ' 
in a memorandum calendared 320 (123), and endorsed, ' Given in by M r Treasurer's 
Steward. 18 Ap.,' so that it had been sent to Sir Thomas (while still plain 'Sir 
Thomas '). But that application had been refused, as we see by 320 (297), which 
is an application by Richard Prowse, in a letter dated May 3, 1672, addressed to 
Benson, to substitute for *y e Schoole howse, 1 Mr. Wood's house, ' in y e s d Towne.' 
So that clearly 321 (50) was written by Prowse, not as before to Mr. Benson (Sir 
Joseph Williamson's clerk), but direct to Thomas Lord Clifford, already called 
1 M r Treasurer. ' This secures the object. The licences are both granted May 8, 
1672 [E (89)] Wm. Carslake fetches them away May 14, 1672 [321 (149)]. 

The Indulgence Documents 259 

refers to two Devon ministers both of Honiton Mr. Sourton and 
Mr. Hieron. It applies for a Licence for the former, c for a place in 
* Honiton call'd the Chappell of All-hallows,' and a * personall ' licence 
for the latter. [Only, as a matter of fact, he confuses the men as to 
the place desired ; and it needed his son, James Inness, junior, to put 
the tangle right.] What interests us in this connection, however, is 
that the P.S. concludes with these words : * If there be any difficultie 
c in the case, I presume S r Thomas Clifford can satisfie you, having 
i written to his honour about it.' 

This is another Devon case ; and we must suppose Sir Thomas had 
been asked to support the claims of these Honiton ministers, in case any 
difficulty was made in the way of granting the licences though the 
ambiguity of the English language does not make it clear whether 
Sourton and Hieron had applied directly to Sir Thomas, or, having 
placed their application wholly in Mr. Innes's hand, had left it to him 
to write to Sir Thomas for them. 

3. The third document which bears Clifford's name bears it in a 
form, and breathes a spirit, which make it highly improbable that it was 
addressed to him. It is numbered 321 (50), and has scrawled on the 
back of it this miserable apology for French : * Monceare le Chavaleare 
Clufford Anecon.' As the French equivalent for 'Sir ... Knight,' 
the first part would be a correct address only prior to April 22. The 
last word I cannot interpret.* It is neither dated nor signed. It is 
simply a familiar reminder of applications which had as yet received no 
attention, and reads : 

4 1 bespoke a Licence for M r Saunders to preach in the howse of W m 

Wood at Tiverton in Devon 

' The like for Tho: Chesman at his owne howse in East Ilsley in Barks 
' A further Licence for a howse belonging to Francis Whiddon in 


That familiar tone exactly fits Richard Prowse addressing Benson, 
as we know he did in 320 (297) when asking a licence for William 
Wood's house. But it would be insufferable as addressed to Baron 
Clifford. The paper with the French scrawl on the back may have 
been obtained by Prowse from Clifford's servant some time ago, and is 
(possibly) used now to remind the authorities that Clifford has been 
interested in the Devon cases from the outset. 

As the licences both for Saunders and Mr. Wood are granted 
4 8 May 72 ' [vide E. (89)], this letter must have been written between 
May 3 and May 7 or 8. Though ready May 8, the licences are not 
fetched away from Whitehall till May 14 ; when William Carslake, a 
Devon minister (who had been ejected from Werrington, on the Corn- 
wall border of the county, close to Launceston, and had found refuge in 
London, south of the Thames) takes it away, together with three licences 

* Rev. A. Gordon suggests that 'Anecon ' may be read 'Avecon.' In the evil 
spelling of an illiterate foreigner possibly Clifford's man ' it represents either 
(i) 'Avisons' supposing the document were addressed to Clifford meaning 'Let 
us bear in mind ' ; or (2) ' Avisant ' supposing it were not and (following on ; Mon- 
' ceare le Chavaleare Clufford ') meaning Lord Clifford ' prompting' the request. 

260 Detailed and Expository 

for Berks and no less than thirteen other licences for Devon [321 (149)]. 
The three Berkshire licences did not include Thomas Chesman's ; but 
the thirteen Devon licences did include the second house belonging to 
Francis Whiddon, described here simply as * a house erected in Totnes 
' in Devon.' 

But unquestionably the two documents connected with Lord Clifford, 
which possess most special interest are 

4 and 5 two licences which are countersigned by him, 'By his 
'Majesty's Command CLIFFORD,' and are still lodged in the Record 
Office as 321 (374) and (375) quite complete (as filled in, signed, and 
dated), but which were never taken from Whitehall to be used. 

321 (374) is a licence dated July 23, 1672, 'for the House of John 
* Disne att . . . Lincolneshire.' 

321 (375) is one dated July 22, 1672, ' for the house of George White 
4 Derbyshire.' 

I presume that they were left as useless because ' insufficiently 
addressed,' the name of the town in which these houses were situated 
not being specified. Though the thought does suggest itself to the 
mind : was Lord Arlington any way nettled by Clifford's taking upon 
himself to sign them as in some sort poaching upon his preserve ? 

Other licences, however, were made out and issued later, for we 
have entries of them in E. : of the second (for George White), on the 
last line of E. (230) dated August 10, 1672, as for 'The house of 
' George White of Chesterfield in Derbysfr Congr.' ; and of the first y 
on E. (247) dated 'Sep. 5,' as for 'The house of John Disney Esqr 
'of y e Citty of Lincolne Pr.' In what way he was so particularly 
interested in these two citizens of Chesterfield and Lincoln as to sign 
the licences for them, instead of Lord Arlington, does not appear. 
More accurate local information might clear up the problem. 
Besides these documents, however, that bear his name, there are 
three other which are annotated with references to him in a way to 
show that he could be stirred to interest himself in any place in Devon, 
even though not in the district with which he was specially connected. 

6. The first is 320 (103). It contains two memoranda on the one 
paper : the first of ' The humble Petition of a Congregationall Church 
' in South Molton in y e County of Devon. For his Ma ties Licence for 
' M r Thomas Mall to be their Teacher. And the place for Worship 
' to be a howse belonging to M r Rob 1 Squires in y e s d Towne.' The 
second is for Somerset though for a part adjacent to Devon full 
thirty miles distant from South Molton (in a direction East by South) : 
' A Licence for M r Rob 1 Drake to preach in the howse belonginge to 
4 Peter Southwood in the parish of Buckland in Somersetsheire. Of the 
' Presbetirian Judgm 1 .' And this interesting note is appended to it : 
' By M r T rers desires being acquainted hereof.' 

It must fill us with at least momentary surprise that a Church in a 
place so remote from Chudleigh, his native place, and Totnes, the little 
borough he represents in Parliament, as was South Molton, should be 
moved to seek the favour of his intercession and influence. But that 
momentary surprise is in part removed when we note that it is Mr. 

The Indulgence Documents 261 

Thomas Mali who is their teacher. Mr. Thomas Mall was one of the 
Preachers in Exeter Cathedral till the Act of Uniformity drove him 
from its pulpit ; and, as a great public force in the cathedral city, he 
must have been known to the native of Chudleigh and member for 
Totnes. As minister of South Molton, too, Thomas Mall would from 
the first hear much, and later get personally to know more, of the wide- 
spread activities of Robert Drake, of West Buckland. 

The memorandum does not particularize which of the' thirteen 
' Bucklands ' it is, save to call it ' the parish of Buckland in Somerset- 
shire ' So much more natural would it be for the second application to 
be from a place near the first, that our first thought was to take the 
county name to be a mistake. There are no less than eight Bucklands 
in Devon; and two of them East and West Bucklands are quite 
near to South Molton : the first only five miles and the second only 
six miles from it. So that either of these would seem to be associated 
with South Molton wjth the utmost naturalness. On the other side, 
there are five Bucklands in the adjoining County of Somerset, and one 
of them very near the Devon border viz., West Buckland, quite close 
to Wellington ; so that the two churches (South Molton in Devon and 
West Buckland in Somerset) and the two ministers (Thomas Mall in 
Devon and Robert Drake in Somerset) might easily have had close 
* correspondence ' with one another. When we find, too, that ' M r 
4 Robert Drake' (Cal. III. 203) was ejected from West Monkton, 
which is only about the same distance (five miles or so) north-east of 
Taunton, that West Buckland is south-west of it, we are made morally 
certain that this West Buckland is the ' Buckland in y e County of 
' Somersetsheire ' for which a licence is sought for Robert Drake : 
especially when we learn from the Episcopal Returns of 1669 that his 
preaching activities were so great in the district of which Taunton and 
Wellington were the ' twin foci.' They report him as preaching at : 

(1) Wellington and Buckland, to congregations of 400, at the 

houses of Daniel Lock and Widow Mar [on (R. 142)] ; at 

(2) Pitminster and Trull, to a Conventicle of 100, at some 'Place 

uncertaine ' (R. 142/>) ; at 

(3) West Munkton (his old sphere) and the places adjacent, to 

congregations of 400 (R. 143) ; at 

(4) Creech, to a Conventicle of 200, held ' at the house of Edward 

Ceely Esq ' (R. 143) ; at 

(5) Oake, to a meeting of 'uncertain numbers,' at the house of one 

Harnham (R. 143) ; and at 

(6) Pidminster, to Conventicles of 20O, held at six different 

houses (also R. 143) ; 

and all this although Calamy knows so little definite about him that he 
is obliged to content himself with saying : ' A considerable man, but 
* there is no memorial of him.' 

The identification, too, is made much more probable, as we find that 
both the house in which the Bishop (in 1669) reports him as preaching 
in Pitminster, and that for which he seeks licence to preach now (in 

262 Detailed and Expository 

1672) in Buckland belong to members of the same family South wood. 
The house of Michael Southwood was one of those in Pitminster where 
he was Conventicling in 1669. And it was to have authority to preach 
in the house of Peter Southwood in West Buckland that he asks licence 
now. Both the licences for himself and the house are issued on April 
16, 1672 as vide E. (23). 

7. The second document shows an even more direct and personal 
exertion on the part of Lord Clifford. It is 320 (126) the second part 
of which we have already cited in connection with the case of Richard 
Saunders, of Tiverton. 

The whole is definitely endorsed by Francis Benson : * Devon. 
Given in by M r Treasurers Steward, 18 Ap.' ; and the first part reads : 
4 M r Oliver Peard To be Teacher to a Congregaconall church in Barne- 
c staple in Devon. The place of Worshipp The howse belonging to 
4 Joseph Andrewes in y e s d Towne.' 

Both licences were issued two days later, as see the entries on 
E. (36), dated '20 Apr. 72,' ; and we have this interesting note inserted 
at the foot of the application [320 (126)] in Mr. Benson's hand : < de- 
4 livered to M r Treasurers man 20. Apr. 72.' 

The whole transaction is thus most vividly sketched for us. The 
application memorandum, which is after the same model as 320 (103) 
which was presented * By M r Treasurer's desires,' he ' being 
* acquainted hereof ' was taken to Lord Clifford on Thursday, April 
1 8 probably to his 'Lodgings' at Whitehall (otherwise called * The 
' Treasury '). It is given by Lord Clifford to his Steward, to take round 
to his friend Arlington's Office. There it is ' taken ' by Francis Benson, 
Sir Joseph Williamson's chief clerk, and attended to as speedily as the 
press of this licence business will allow. The licences are made out, 
signed, and dated by Saturday, April 20 ; and on Lord Clifford's man 
calling for them, they are delivered to him the same day. There is 
little doubt, too, that they would be promptly despatched to Devon by 
post, c franked ' by Sir Thomas. 

It is rather interesting to note that of the four ministers thus directly 
or indirectly licensed through his influence two were Presbyterian and 
two were Congregational. Francis Whiddon, of Totnes, and Robert 
Drake, of West Buckland, were Presbyterians ; and Thomas Mall and 
Oliver Peard were Congregational. But the houses licensed are as four 
to two: four Presbyterians John Disney's, Peter South wood's, William 
Wood's, and Francis Whiddon's ; and two Congregationalists George 
White's and Robert Squire's. 

This, however, is not quite all. There are two other memoranda 
which tell much the same story about him. 

8. 320 (147) is an application from 'Robert Collins M.A.' of Ottery 
St. Mary, for a licence to preach in his own house there. Appended to 
it are two notes in Mr. Benson's hand, which show that Sir Th. Clif- 
ford's influence had been invoked exactly as in these other cases the 
second stating that it had been c Given in by M r Treasurer's servant 
6 19 Apr. 72,' the day after the application had been made through him 
for Oliver Peard, of Barnstaple ; and the first showing that the licence 

The Indulgence Documents 263 

was fetched away the same time, * delivered to M r Treasurer's man 
* 20 Apr. 72.' 

320 (149), too, though it has nothing in it or attached to it to prove 
that application was made through Sir Thomas, has a note appended 
showing that it was taken away by his servant at the same time as the 
other two. It is for Thomas Forward, of Pitminster, Somerset, the 
note appended reading : < Some r sett. Delivered to M r Treasurer's 
' man. 20 Apr. 72.' 

Further still, and lastly : 

9. In E. there is one entry, with a marginal note, referring to Lord 
Clifford in an absolutely unique fashion. On E. (190) the second line 
from the top reads : 

'Licence to Fran: Bampfield a Nonconforming minister to teach in 
any licensed place. 29 June ', 

with this note appended in the margin : < made in Parchm 1 thus by 
< my Ld Clifford's Order. 29 June.' 

As far as any evidence goes, with which I am acquainted, this is the 
only case in which a licence was made out on parchment. The rule 
and practically universal practice was to make them out on the partly 
printed, partly written forms which were on stout paper. 

This particular entry (and the licence thus entered) are specially 
interesting for another reason. 

Baxter plumed himself upon being the only minister who had had a 
licence made out without indicating the sect or < perswasion ' to which 
he belonged. But Francis Bampfield's licence is made out in precisely 
the same form as Baxter's, and Baxter's was not issued till four months 
later than his viz., October 27, 1672 [E. (272)]. So that Baxter's 
claim is without foundation. It certainly would be interesting to trace 
the ground of Lord Clifford's special interest in Francis Bampfield.* 

It remains abundantly evident that practically the whole of the 
licences were issued from Lord Arlington's office. Happily there are 
incidental references in these Licence documents which enable us to 
form a conception of the staff by whose exertions the business was 
carried through (with many vexatious delays no doubt, but still with a 
general efficiency and promptitude). 

3. Lord Arlington. 

Arlington, the titular Chief of the Department, had at intervals to 
give his personal attention to the business by signing * at foot ' the 
licences which were approved as soon as his Royal Master had signed 
them at the head. 

When methods were discussed at the outset, apparently the proposal 
was that the Council should meet for this particular work once a week 
to discuss the applications, and to sign the licences which were granted. 

* There was, of course, the general reason that Bampfield was a Devon man, 
and the special one that he was well connected, one brother being a baronet, and 
another the Recorder of Exeter. 

264 Detailed and Expository 

That I take to be the meaning of the first sentence of the second 
paragraph of Dr. Butler's letter of March 27, addressed to Sir Joseph 
Williamson [320 (5)] : 'Thursday morn, they meet generall(y) to sub- 
' scribe, & suppose friday waite upon L d A's. soe forwards.' If that 
was its meaning, however, the plan was never carried out. 

The dates in the Entry Books tell a most erratic story. 

In Sir John Trevor's (B.), in the month of April^ signatures were 
affixed on one Monday (the 22nd), on three Tuesdays (9th, i6th, and 
23rd), one Wednesday (lyth), one Thursday (nth), two consecutive 
Fridays (i2th, and I9th), and one Saturday (i3th) ; and in May, on 
three Wednesdays (ist, 8th, and I5th), and two Fridays (roth, and iyth). 

In Lord Arlington's (E.), the signature days (the days the entries are 
dated) were : In April three Tuesdays (2nd, i6th, and 30th) (in each 
case with a fortnight between), one Wednesday (lyth), two consecutive 
Thursdays (nth, and i8th), two Fridays following one another (i2th, 
and 1 9th), and two consecutive Saturdays (i3th, and 2Oth), as well as 
two Mondays (i5th, and 22nd), and one Sunday (four houses in 
Middlesex) April i 4 th [E. (21)]. 

In May : one Monday (i3th), four Wednesdays (ist, 8th, 22nd, 
and 29th), three consecutive Thursdays (2nd, Qth, and i6th), and one 
Saturday (25th). 

In June: but one Monday (loth), and two Saturdays (i5th 
and 29th). 

In July: one Monday (22nd), one Tuesday (i6th), and one 
Thursday (25th). 

In August : one Monday (i2th), one Thursday (8th), and one 
Saturday (loth). 

In September : but one Monday (the last day of the month), and one 
Thursday (5th). 

In October : but one day, a Monday (28th). 

In November : only two days, on a Monday (i8th), and the follow- 
ing Wednesday (2Oth). 

In December: two Mondays (9th and 23rd). 

In 1673: in January there was but one day, a Monday (i3th), 
and February, only one, also a Monday (the 3rd). 

Sir John's signature-days were more evenly distributed over the first 
two months of the Indulgence for which alone he lived to take any 
part in the matter : he died before May was out than were Lord 
Arlington's over the eleven during which he had to act. 

Arlington had to do this 'signing' on 13 out of the 29 days of 
April) one of them being a Sunday (the Hth), the first and last being 
Tuesdays (the 2nd and the 3Oth) ; on nine days in May ; on only 
three days each, in June, July, and August ; on two in September, 
November, and December; and on only one day of October, 1672 ; 
and of January and February of 1673. 

Thus his subordinates arranged the work as conveniently as possible 
for him and for the King, allowing applications to accumulate, so that 
they might deal with as many as possible at one time. In April and 
May there were so many applications to examine and deal with, that 

The Indulgence Documents 265 

to give a fair show even of interest in the work, and of attention to the 
Nonconformists, who were ready to take the King at his word, both 
Charles and Arlington were kept busy on each of the twenty-two days 
on which they attended for this purpose. They were let off very lightly 
in the following months; and, as applications slackened towards the 
autumn, the Indulgence gave them very little serious trouble. 

The comparatively slight attention which Arlington paid ro the 
details of this Indulgence question was characteristic of the man. The 
work of his office was not neglected, but he had the faculty of getting 
all the troublesome part of the duties of his department done for him 
and done well too. 

His career throughout gives evidence of this. His family name was 
Bennet ; his grandfather being Sir John Bennet, Judge of the Pre- 
rogative Court of Canterbury. His father was a Doctor of Laws, a 
resident in Harlington, in the Staines district of Middlesex. He was 
born at Harlington in 1618, was educated first at Westminster School, 
and then at Christ Church, Oxford, his father designing him to be the 
parson of Harlington. On the outbreak of the Civil War, he gave up 
the idea of the ministry, and joined the King's army. He served with 

The marks of his military service he carried with him to his grave, 
in a deep sabre cut across his nose, obliging him to wear a black patch 
upon it [Evelyn's Diary : Bray's edn., 494 note]. 

He followed the Prince (Charles II.) to the Continent, and was first 
rewarded for his loyalty by a position in the Court at Paris, being made 
Secretary to the King's brother the Duke of York, and knighted by the 
young exile King at Bruges, in 1658. From Clarendon's account, 
however, he does not appear to have taken at all kindly to the position 
assigned to him, and on Charles's return from Scotland he successfully 
pressed his suit for removal to another post, and was sent as Special Envoy 
to Madrid. There he remained till the Restoration, when his wishes 
were again respected, being recalled to England to be near the King's 
person, and appointed Privy Purse, Evelyn noting that he was < a great 
' favourite.' Clarendon notes this with evident dislike and fear, with 
shrewd insight viewing the introduction of ' Sir Harry Bennet ' (as he 
calls him) and Sir William Coventry to the King's counsels as under- 
mining his own influence. In 1663-64 he speaks of the intrigue on foot 
to persuade Secretary Nicholas to resign, that room might be made for 
Sir Harry Bennet. The intrigue succeeds, and in March, 1664, Bennet 
was made Secretary of State in place of Nicholas who had resigned. 

Apparently he was rapidly gaining great influence at Court, for 
Evelyn is proud to record any instances of intercourse with him. On 
April 27, he notes in his Diary how he supped 'at M r . Secretary 
4 Bennet' s ' ; on May 5th he tells of ' a greate banquet held at Mort- 
Mack,' to celebrate the engagement of Sir Robert Carr to Mistress 
Bennet (the Secretary's sister) ; and on October 29th, of the Lord 
Mayor's Guildhall Banquet (which must have cost 1,000 !), in which 
he sat next Sir H. Bennet, Secretary of State, and opposite Chancellor 
Clarendon, and the Duke of Buckingham. 

266 Detailed and Expository 

About this time Bennet purchased Goring House, on the south side 
of Piccadilly (not far from Hyde Park), as his London residence, where 
he rapidly accumulated a great collection of choice furniture and 
valuable pictures. 

Early in the year 1605, he was created Baron of Arlington. 
Clarendon (in the 'Continuation of his Life,' pp. 252, 253, folio edn.; 
481, 482, octavo edn.) speaks very slightingly of this episode, noting 
how, in search for a title for his Barony, he wished first to assume the 
name of Cheney, but was foiled in that design by the objections of a 
living member of that family, and in the end was fain to take the title 
of Arlington, a slight disguise of Harlington a 'little Village,' as 
Clarendon calls it, 'between London and Ux bridge 9 the village where 
he was born, and where was ' a little Farm that had belonged to his 
' father,' had been 'sold by him,' and was at this time actually ' in the 
' Possession of another private Person.' There is no doubt, however, 
that he was growing rapidly in favour with the King, and that the King 
was feeling the domineering and restraining influence of Clarendon more 
and more irksome. Evelyn notes on January 29, 1665-66, how very- 
cordial were the King and Lord Arlington to him at a reception at 
Hampton Court ; how on July 25th, dining at Lord Berkeley's, at 
St. James's, Lord Arlington was there ; and on November 27th, how 
Lord Arlington had advanced ' Sir Thomas Clifford ' to a position in 
the Court, being made Comptroller of the Household, and the next 
month, December 5th, sworn of the Privy Council. [This 'novus 
homo ' Evelyn speaks of rather contemptuously at this time as ' a bold 
' young gentleman of a small fortune in Devon,' though he soon altered 
his tone, as Clifford advanced in Royal favour.] 

The following year, 1667, there was a rumour (Pepys hears it in 
March) that the Treasury was to be reorganized, the ' Commission ' to 
be abolished, and that Lord Arlington was to be made Lord Treasurer. 
But no change in this office was made until five years after, and Arling- 
ton does not seem to have been very active in the pursuit of the matter 
himself. Through his indolence and carelessness indeed, it finally 
slipped through his fingers altogether, and the coveted position was 
conferred on Sir Thomas Clifford in 1672, who in this year 1667 had 
been made one of the Commissioners of the Treasury. 

In fact Arlington was busy with his personal affairs ; for he was 
building a country house of great magnificence at Euston, in Suffolk. 
Pepys notes, under date June 24, 1667, how Mr. Povy had remonstrated 
with him on spending so much upon it, and employing so many work- 
men upon it, when the country needed all the able seamen they could 
press into the service of the Navy for the defence of the country against 
the Dutch. At this time, too, Arlington had quarrelled with the Duke of 
Buckingham. Pepys notes in July* how, throughout this episode, the 
Duke was very pleasing and submissive to the King, but was most 
bitter and sharp and very slighting to Lord Arlington ; and, when all 
was over, and he had been released from his brief imprisonment, the 
Duke said that ' any one committed to prison by my Lord Chancellor or 
' my Lord Arlington could not want being popular.' 

* Under date July 17, 1667. 

The Indulgence Documents 267 

Evidently Arlington's love of ease and luxury was destroying his 
keenness as a politician. Though Buckingham linked Arlington's name 
with Clarendon, however, Arlington was loose enough of any con- 
nection with Clarendon not to be involved in Clarendon's fall ; and in 
the changes that followed Clarendon's exile, Arlington remained in 
power. He was one of the five, indeed, who formed the Cabal^ and 
who maintained their hold of the King, and of the affairs of state, for 
the next seven or eight years. 

It should be borne in mind, however, that there was none of the 
cohesion or unity of policy between the members of the Cabal essential 
to a modern ' Cabinet Ministry.' Even so early in its existence as the 
close of the year 1667, Pepys hears (December 30) that the Cabal were 
inwardly divided, Sir G. Carteret telling him, ' That my Lords of Buck- 
* ingham, Bristoll, and Arlington do seem to agree in these things, but 
' that they do not in their hearts trust one another, but do drive several 
c ways all of them.' 

Still, throughout 1668, Arlington maintains his position. Though 
early in the year rumour is busy (Pepys, the great gossip, hears it 
February iyth) that great complaint is made of the inadequacy of the 
' Intelligence,' secured by Lord Arlington of course, one of the most 
important departments of the office of the Secretary of State some 
saying, * Whatever Morrice's was, who declared he had but 75O/. a-year 
' allowed him for intelligence, the King paid too dear for my Lord 
'Arlington in giving him io,ooo/., and a Barony for it ' ; still, autumn 
is not out before he notes 'Bucks and Arlington rule all,' and the 
rumour of the previous year is revived that 'the design is to make 
' Lord Arlington Treasurer.' In 1669, though he was 'at variance with 
' the Duke of York,' he still keeps in with the King ; and Evelyn's 
allusions to him in 1670 and 1671 show that his position was still secure. 
In 1670 (June 18) Arlington was the chosen channel for the expression 
of the King's desire that Evelyn should undertake to write a History of 
the Dutch War; and in 1671 Evelyn evidently thinks of him as the 
chief power in the State, spending a fortnight as fellow-guest, with 
Mr. Treasurer Clifford [so he calls him, though only one of the Com- 
missioners of the Treasury, and not made Lord High Treasurer till the 
following year], with Lord Arlington, at Euston (October 16), praising 
the mansion as a ' very noble pile,' and speaking warmly of Lord Arling- 
ton himself, ' of whose particular friendship and kindness I had ever a 
' more than ordinary care ' ; saying of him, ' There is no man more 
' hospitably easy to be withall than my lord Arlington.' 

Arlington's friend and favourite, Clifford, was an avowed Roman 
Catholic, and Arlington was like the King, more a Roman Catholic 
than an Anglican, dying an avowed member of the Roman Catholic 
Church. They both favoured the Indulgence, when it was mooted by 
the King, as favouring the Church of Rome ; and would have made it 
as open to Roman Catholic Recusants as to Protestant Nonconformists. 
Evelyn's comment (Diary, March 12, 1671-72) is : ' This was imputed to 
' the same council, Clifford warping to Rome, as was believed ; nor was 
' Lord Arlington clear of suspicion, to gratifie that party, but as since it 

268 Detailed and Expository 

' has prov'd, and was then evidently foreseen, to the extreame weakening 
c of the Church of England and its Episcopal Government, as 'twas 
' projected/ 

But the other members of the Cabal, especially Lauderdale and 
Buckingham, were too strong for them. So that by the irony of fate, 
this distinctly Protestant measure had to he worked, in largest part, by 
one who was practically a Papist. 

A little more than a month after the issue of the Declaration viz., 
on April lyth, Lord Arlington was created an Earl at the same time 
that Ashley became Earl of Shaftsbury. Sir J. Williamson notes in his 
Diary, April ijth, ' L. Arlington, L. Ashley created Earles . . . warr ls 
c signed.' * 

With the passing of the Test Act, 1673, Arlington's political career 
came practically to an end. For though his impeachment by the 
Commons failed, he resigned his Secretaryship, being succeeded in the 
office by Sir Joseph Williamson, the man who for years had practically 
done all the work ; and, for consolation, Arlington was appointed Lord 
Chamberlain in 1674. In this position he enjoyed the King's con- 
fidence and a good salary, though the destruction of Goring House and 
all its treasures rather straitened his finances for the rest of his days, 
which were divided between the Court and his mansion at Euston. He 
died in 1685. 

The traces of Lord Arlington's personal activity in this Indulgence 
literature are very few. Apart from his signature of almost every 
licence issued from his office, these licence-documents show that he left 
almost everything to Sir Joseph Williamson. 

Indeed, there are only two papers to show that he took, or even was 
supposed to take, any personal interest in the business. And these are 
not letters or even memoranda in his handwriting. They are two 
letters addressed to him by Dr. Nicholas Butler. 

The one is 320 (6) and the other is 320 (196). 

The first is endorsed by Sir Joseph Williamson: '29 Mar. 1672. 
' Dr B. My IA Indulgence,' and addressed : < For y e Right Hone 
' L rd Arlington.' It informs Lord Arlington of the excellent impression 
produced upon the Nonconformists by the personal audience granted 
them by the King for the acceptance of their c verball thankes ' ; and 
expresses the hope that the Indulgence be worked upon generous and 
liberal lines. 

The second is a much longer one, endorsed by Sir William : < Y e 

< Indulgence, 26 Apr. 72 R. D r Butler y e use of Halls.' The address 
of the letter faithfully reflects the elevation of Arlington, which had taken 
place since Dr. Butler last wrote to him. It is no longer : ' For y e Right 

< Hon ble L r d AV ; but < For y e Right Hon ble Earle of Arlington.' The 
letter is an intimation of the serious consequences which have followed 
the refusal of licences for ' public places,' halls, and unendowed chapels ; 
reporting the profound disappointment and resentment it has created, 
and even suspicions of the good faith of the King, with an urgent plea 
that the good work be not hindered by such a grudging policy. Both 

* The patent was not issued, however, till the 23rd. A. G. 

The Indulgence Documents 269 

of them are signed (not, it is true, in full but) in initials ' N. B.,' a great 
concession ; he was so fearful that his connection with the Indulgence 
should become known. [As we have seen elsewhere, in writing to Sir 
Joseph Williamson, he adopts a mere cypher for secrecy's sake ] As 
both are given in full, in the account furnished of the writer, the reader 
must be referred to the letters themselves. [320 (6), and 320 (196).] 

4. Sir Joseph Williamson. 

There is no room for doubt that though Lord Arlington's office was 
the local centre for the working of Charles's Indulgence, his secretary, 
Sir Joseph Williamson, was 'head-centre.' Both in settling the lines to 
be pursued, preparing the methods by which it was to be administered, 
and in deciding the exact form the licences were to take, as well as in 
attending to the applications which were made, deciding on their fate, 
and actually issuing the licences which were granted, Sir Joseph 
Williamson was the heart and the hand of the whole business. As we 
shall see, these licence-documents bear ample witness to the fact. 

Sir Joseph's whole career and training had admirably fitted him for 
the task ; and we need not grudge him the credit of discharging it well. 

Joseph Williamson 'was the son of a poor clergyman, somewhere in 
'Cumberland.'* It was at Bridekirk, near Cockermouth, that he was 
born, about 1623. He was educated at Queen's College, Oxford, and 
he would be leaving College about 1645-1647, so that his time at Oxford 
would be practically conterminous with the duration of the Civil War. 
On leaving Oxford he travelled on the Continent ; and Evelyn implies 
that he did not return to England till the Restoration of Charles (1660), 
when he was received as a ' Cleark under M r Secretary Nicholas.' 

Certain documents, however (cited in Supplement No. 3 of the 
Friends' Historical Journal, pp. 23, 24), seem to imply that he held the 
post of ' Secretary ' was it to Mr. Secretary Nicholas ? in Paris, 
in 1656-57. In S. P. D. 153, 41, there is a letter quoted from Humphrey 
Robinson (a shopkeeper at the sign of the 'Three Pigeons' in St. Paul's 
Churchyard) to ' Secretary Williamson,' reporting the moderation of 
Oliver Cromwell towards Quakers; and in S. P. D. 153, 33, one from 
Charles Perrot to him, in which he addresses him as ' Honest Joseph.' 

Certain it is, that whether or no he had filled the post as Clerk or 
Secretary to Nicholas in France before the King's return, he began 
his career in England by acting in that capacity from the year 1660. 
In 1663, on the resignation of Secretary Nicholas, Joseph Williamson 
retained his post under Nicholas's successor, Bennet ; and applied him- 
self with the utmost diligence to relieve Sir Henry of all the details of 
the work of his office. 

Pepys met him about that time at Lord Peterborough's (August 10, 
1663), and speaks of him as 'Mr. Williamson that belongs to Sir 

* Evelyn, Diary, July 22, 1674. In Al. Oxon. I find a Joseph Williamson, son 
of Joseph Williamson, of Cockermouth, Cumberland, pleb. This Joseph William- 
son was born 1719, matric. Queen's, 1736. Was his father a nephew of Sir Joseph 
Williamson ? 

270 Detailed and Expository 

H. Bennet,' as * a pretty understanding and accomplished man,' but, he 
adds, * a little conceited.' Williamson rapidly made himself a necessity 
to Arlington, as Evelyn puts it: 'who loving his ease more than busi- 
' nesse (tho' sufficiently able had he applied himselfe to it) remitted all 
' to his man Williamson, and in a short time, let him so into the seacret 
' of affaires that (as his Lordship himselfe told me) there was a kind of 
'necessity to advance him.' He relieved his chief of any trouble in 
connection with his correspondence, and carried out all his decisions. He 
looked after all the papers, tying them in bundles, endorsing them and 
pigeon-holing them, so that Arlington had the business of his office 
reduced by Williamson to 'apple-pie order,' and as a consequence, his 
trouble in attending to it reduced to a minimum. By 1665, his work 
was recognized so publicly and universally, that he was known as 
' Under-Secretary of State ' ; and in November of that year, his remark- 
able activity is shown by his starting the Oxford Gazette, adding the 
duties of editor of that journal to those of Lord Arlington's office. 

By his accomplishments ('a musitian ' Evelyn* calls him, who ' could 
4 play at " Jeu de Goblets'") he became a 'society man,' and especially 
a ' grata persona ' in Lord O'Brien's house. And on O'Brien's death 
Williamson married his widow, Lady Catherine Stuart, a relative of the 
Royal House ; but that was late in his career, in 1678, only two years 
before his death. He was ambitious of distinction. As early as 1666 
we find him trying, though unsuccessfully, for a seat in Parliament. 
As Pepys quaintly puts it : [1666, Oct.] ' 2ist. Sir H. Cholmley tells me 
' how M r Williamson stood in a little place, to have come into the House 
' of Commons : and they would not choose him : they said, " No 

Though he failed on this occasion, however, he eventually succeeded ; 
for on William Gaudy's t ceasing to represent Thetford (by retirement 
or death), ' Sir Joseph Williamson, Kt.,' succeeded him. That, however, 
was not till 1672, the year which so closely concerns us. Thetford is in 
Norfolk in its south-west corner ; and Euston Park is just across the border 
in Suffolk. There can be little doubt that it would be largely through 
the personal influence of his chief that he secured election, as Lord 
Arlington had just erected a large mansion at Euston, and had spent 
large sums of money and employed a great number of workmen in the 
neighbourhood. Williamson used his position to get possession of all 
current political news and many State secrets ; and, as he was so much 
more assiduous in State business, and so much more constant in his 
attendance at Whitehall than his chief, the public sought his help and 
advice, and were eager to secure his influence and aid, as though he were 
himself the Chief Secretary of State rather than merely Under-Secretary. 
In 1667 (July 6) Pepys was able to note that ' M r Williamson told me 
c that M r Coventry is coming over (from Holland) " with a project of 
' " peace " ' ; while, on July 1 7, Evelyn notes that Mr. Williamson, with 

* See note on previous page. 

t Was not Sir John Gaudy, whom Evelyn met at Earl Arlington's mansion at 
Euston in 1677, William Gaudy's brother? In his Diary, September 7, 1677, 
Evelyn writes : ' There din'd this day at my Lord's one Sir John Gaudy, a very 
1 handsome person, but quite dumb, yet very intelligent by signes, and a very fine 
' painter etc.' 

The Indulgence Documents 271 

'The Master of the Mint and his lady,' and others, dined with iiim ; 
and early in 1668 (viz., March 6) he mentions Williamson's congratula- 
tions, as of special value to him, on his speech in defence of the Navy- 
Office. By the time that this question of a Royal Indulgence became a 
question of < practical politics ' he was in a position to do much to deter- 
mine how it should be worked out. It was doubtless Williamson who 
enlisted the services of Dr. Nicholas Butler and Mr. Church in the 
preliminary ' pourparlers ' with Nonconformist leaders ; and we have 
seen that there is abundant documentary proof that the final form 
assumed by the licences and the actual processes by which their issue 
was effected, were determined mainly by him. 

It was early in the year (1672), which saw the publication of Charles's 
Declaration, that Williamson was knighted ; so that the * Sir,' always 
prefixed so carefully to his name in all this licence literature, is a title 
acquired scarcely twomonths before. It is under date, January 23, 1672, 
that Evelyn speaks of Sir Richard Browne (his father-in-law) c resigning 
< his place of Clerke to the Council ' ; and of Joseph Williamson, Esq., 
being admitted to it, and knighted.* 

He refers to it with mixed feelings, as in being advanced to that 
post Williamson was really acting as a ' supplanter ' ; for he goes on to 
say: < This place his Majesty had promised to give me many yeares 
' before ; but upon consideration of the renewal of our lease, and other 
' reasons, I chose to part with it to Sir Joseph.' There is a touch of 
tragi-comedy or melodrama in what follows: 'Who gave us and the 
' rest of his brother clearks a handsome supper at his house, and after 
c supper a consort of music.' Of course, we see little of his interesting 
personality in these licence-documents, but much to prove his 
admirable qualifications for this particular work. 

Before looking at these, however, let us briefly follow his career to 
its close. As Under-Secretary of State Williamson did his work so well 
that on Lord Arlington's resignation in 1674 he quite naturally stepped 
into his place. In 1677 he was elected President of the Royal Society 
in succession to Lord Viscount Brouncker ; in the new Parliament 
of 1678 (only the third of Charles II.'s reign) he was again returned for 
Thetford, as also for the Parliaments of 1679 and 1681. Though, for 
the first Parliament of James II., he was at first replaced by Henry 
Hevingham for Thetford; on Hevingham's removal, Sir Joseph was 
re-elected. In 1690, in William III.'s reign, he was elected for Thet- 
ford ; but being declared * not duly elected ' he found a seat for 
Rochester. For the Parliaments of 1695 and 1698, and 1700, he was 
elected for both Thetford and Rochester ; but in each case he ' wav'ed ' 
his claim to Thetford, and sat for Rochester. He died in 1701 ; and in 
his bequests showed his public spirit and literary tastes, leaving ^6,000 
and a valuable library, with many important MSS. to the University of 

But to return to his part in this Indulgence matter. It is evident 
that to all who address themselves to the Whitehall authorities ' Sir 
4 Joseph ' is practically ' Lord Arlington.' 

* Shaw's date for Williamson's knighthood is the day after Evelyn speaks of it 
viz., '24 Jan. 1671/2.' 

272 Detailed and Expository 

In 320 (168) we have a striking proof of this the more striking, 
because quite unintentional. John Whitlock leaves an acknowledg- 
ment of the safe delivery to him of fourteen licences for Nottingham 
County, and he heads it : ' Received at S r Joseph Williamsons Office ' 
not Lord Arlington's * in Whitehall this 2Oth Aprill 1672 these 
4 Licences following.' 

Yet, like his master Arlington, he knows how to hand over all 
tedious and detailed work to his subordinates, reserving everything 
that is of special moment and interest for himself; so that we have 
incidentally an interesting test of the relative importance he attaches 
to any particular case, or any particular document, by the presence or 
absence of his own handwriting upon the document in connection 
with it. In the first stages of any new work, moreover, Sir Joseph 
starts the thing himself in his own characteristic writing ; but when 
once put in the right grooves he hands it over to his clerks. 

Thus the endorsements of the first documents preserved in 320 
are all his own. The drafts of the three forms which,- licences finally 
assumed, as all three are given on the same sheet in 320 (17), are in 
his handwriting. Almost all Dr. Nicholas Butler's letters to him were 
evidently folded and endorsed by himself. Some of the first applications 
for licences (specially the London ones for leading Nonconformist 
ministers) are similarly distinguished e.g., 320 (23), (24), 25, and 29. 

So with the first entries in E. and in the Index (which he projected 
but never completed), I. 

When he did not do these things himself, he saw that his clerks did 
them for him. And so, for the first three months of this Indulgence 
period, every scrap of paper bearing even the briefest memorandum con- 
cerning these licences was carefully docketed and preserved by him. 
These scraps of paper are of inestimable value. In their strange variety 
of autograph they help to make the whole episode live again to our 

To the historian's disappointment and dismay, however, all the 
memoranda belonging to the other seven months during which the 
Indulgence lasted have disappeared. Was it that at this time Sir Joseph 
left London for his summer holiday ? During his absence were the 
memoranda swept ruthlessly into the waste-paper basket ? It may well 
have been so ; and, on his return, finding things in such a state of chaos, 
he did not care to resume a series of records, the continuity of which 
had been so pitilessly broken.* 

* Of letters written directly to him in connection with this business many are 
preserved in these two vols. 

1. The bulk of Dr, Butler's viz., 320 (3), (4), (5), (6), (61), (110), (152 or 153). 
(170), (185). (197), (198), (210) ; and 321 (19?A). 

2. There are two from Timothy Cloudsley (of Yorkshire), 320 (80) and (203). 

3. Two from John Gould, 321 (276) and (315). 
And single letters from : 

4. Edward Veal (of Wapping), 320 (62). 

5. Charles Fisher 320 (112). 

6. Ralph Snowe, 320 (211). 

7. Henry Coleman, M.A., 321 (137) ; and probably from 

8. Stephen Ford, 321 (19). 

The Indulgence Documents 273 

It is clear, moreover, that exactly as Lord Arlington was willing 
enough to delegate the responsibility of working the Indulgence to his 
secretary, Sir Joseph Williamson, as time went on, and the business 
connected with the Indulgence increased, Sir Joseph was glad to hand 
over the major part of the actual work to his chief clerk, Mr. Francis 
Benson. All these licence-documents were folded and endorsed before 
being tied in bundles and stowed away : but comparatively few of them 
were endorsed by Sir Joseph himself only those he considered of special 
and critical importance e.g., 320 (1) the vote of the Court of the. 
Haberdasher's Company ; 320 (2) the Address of Thanks of the 
Nonconformist Ministers of Devon ; Dr. Butler's letters to him 320 
(3), (4) ; his memoranda 320 (23), (24), (25), etc. 

If the licence-documents, however, prove the indefatigable industry 
of Sir Joseph Williamson, they prove as clearly the efficiency and 
industry of his subordinates. 

First (and foremost) among them, was 

i. Francis Benson. 

I have little hesitation in ascribing to him the neat and regular 
handwriting of the greater number of the endorsements of memoranda,, 
the Official Lists of accumulated applications, and the greater part of the 
entries in E and I. 

Some of the memoranda, too, are in his handwriting, indicating that 
some of the applications were made in person, orally ; the particulars 
being taken down by Mr. Benson. 

His influence and importance in this licence business is proved even 
more strikingly by the number of letters addressed to him by appli- 
cants for licences. 

(1) After a time even Dr. Butler had to content himself with 
writing to Mr. Benson, instead of to Sir Joseph : as we see in 320 (199) j 
(?) 321 (65), and (333). 

(2) Timothy Cloudsley does the same in 321 (199) and (200). 

(3) Richard Prowse writes him in 320 (? 197c), (241), (297) ; and 
in 321 (128) and (234). 

(4) Richard Steele writes him thrice 321 (246), (311) and (341). 

(5) Brabazon Aylmer appeals to him in 321 (67) ; and D. Buck- 
master's letter 320 (304) is probably addressed to Mr. Benson j 

(6) There are letters of application to Mr. Benson from unnamed 
correspondents, 320 (271), 321 (8), and 321 (327), probably from 
R. Steele. 

We see him actually dispensing the favours of the King, moreover, 
in 320 (148), which acknowledges the receipt of licences from Mr. 
Francis Benson. Nor is this all we are permitted to see of the staff 
in Lord Arlington's Office. 

Another of the clerks 

2. Mr. Swaddell, is entrusted by John Rawe with an application 
from his father, Richard Rawe, in 321 (195). 

3. Mr. Hugh Reynolds is still another witness John Cressett's 


274 Detailed and Expository 

acknowledgment of the receipt of licences from him 321 (229)* ; and a 
fourth, Mr. Reynolds' subordinate, Mr. Dawson, is brought before us in 
the same memorandum. 

This, then, is the personnel of the Whitehall staff, as revealed to us in 
these documents Lord Arlington, coming with his Royal master, at 
intervals to sign the licences already made out by Mr. Benson ; Sir Joseph 
Williamson opening all letters, to reserve for Arlington's personal 
perusal and attention only those of special and critical importance ; Mr. 
Francis Benson doing the chief clerical work of a specially responsible 
character such as filling in the blanks in the printed licences, and at 
first entering them in the Register or Ledger E, and gradually taking 
a great deal of the responsibility in accepting or refusing applications ; 
Mr. Swaddell and Mr. Hugh Reynolds doing much of the less important 
clerical work ; and Mr. Dawson, a messenger or porter to the office. 
Was Robert Francis one of the clerks then ? He was four years 
earlier (1668) vide letter to him in S. P. Dom. Car. II. 215, 84. 


In the preceding section we have gained some knowledge of the 
executive side of the Indulgence administration. We have acquired a 
fair picture of the office-building. In imagination we have looked out 
of the windows of the south front on to the Privy Garden, with its 
celebrated sundial to our right, and on to the end of the Great Stone 
Gallery to our left. We might have been enabled to do this under the 
aegis of the easy courtesy of the titular chief of the office Lord 
Arlington notable for his rich dress and the black patch upon his 
nose. Or more probably it would have been under the rather pompous 
patronage of Under-Secretary Sir Joseph Williamson. We have been 
in imagination behind the counter-desks of the outer office at its eastern 
end, facing the door which opens on to the small courtyard that links 
the avenue from the Privy Stairs down on the river bank with the 
Great Court, by which every member of the undistinguished public 
have to approach the Office. And there we have spent some time with 
Sir Joseph and his chief clerk, Francis Benson. We have peeped into 
the rooms at the rear, where the petty details of the ordinary work cf 
the Office is done ; where the desks of Mr. Reynolds and Mr. Swaddell 
are lighted by the windows which look out north into the vast space of 
the Great Court. 

We have seen how the King's Printers have prepared piles of 
licence-forms of the three classes for a general teacher, for a teacher in 
a specified place, and for a place ; and how Francis Benson, by Sir 
Joseph Williamson's directions, fills in the blanks with the names of 
person, place, and denomination ; and enters those particulars in E, a 

* One very human touch of Hugh Reynolds is revealed in 321 (370). We seem 
to have caught him in an idle hour scribbling away some of the office-hours ' Hugh 
' Reynolds is my name, and with my pen I wrote the same ; and if my pen had 
'Been. . . .' 

The Indulgence Documents 275 

little later writing them up in I. How, at intervals, determined by the 
varying pressure of applications, the King and Lord Arlington affix their 
signatures at the head and at the foot respectively of the pile of licences 
Sir Joseph brings ; and how the licences and the entries in the entry- 
books alike are dated by Benson, with the date on which the Royal and 
ministerial ' imprimaturs ' have thus given authority and validity to the 
licences now ready to be issued. 

In this section we want to look at the other side of the picture to 
realize as vividly as we can the process by which, and the persons 
through whom, those who ' desire ' to avail themselves of the Royal 
Indulgence may actually secure a licence. 

We must sweep aside as anachronisms all our natural fancies of 
getting licences through the post. There are a few cases of which 
these licence-documents give evidence in which the post was used to 
convey either the applicant's desire or the authorities' response. To a 
favoured few [as we see in the Notes on E. (2), (3), (4), and (5)] such 
as William Jenkin of the City of London ; James Innes, senior, of 
Westminster ; Theophilus Polwheile, of Tiverton ; Lewis Stuckley, of 
Exeter ; and Dr. Nicholas Butler Sir Joseph Williamson actually sent 
by post (* sent down ') the licences (when made out and signed). The 
rule evidently was that those who had asked for them must fetch them 
from Whitehall, and that those who ' desired ' them should apply for 
them either in person or by some authorised proxy at Lord Arlington's 
Office in Whitehall. 

How do we know all this ? From the Entry Books, as a whole, we 
could not gather it. In the few relevant entries in B there is nothing ; 
in the Index I, if that were possible, there is even less ; and in 163 out 
of the 167 printed pages covered by E there is nothing to help us. 
The utmost we could gather from these is the bare fact that a particular 
licence was granted on a particular date. In the first few pages of E., 
however, we find certain notes appended or inserted by Sir Joseph 
Williamson which do much to supply the sort of information of which 
we are in quest ; and, had he continued to insert similar notes all 
through the Entry Book, we should have much to make these dry 
entries glow with living interest. 

Thus (i.) : on E. (1), the first two licences granted are entered in full, 
each entry an exact transcript of the actual licence ; and on E. (4) the 
entry of John Milward's licence is also an exact transcript of the licence 
itself. The first two were the licences granted to William Jenkin 
viz., a personal one for him to preach in a house in Home Alley, and a 
local one a licence for the house as a < meeting place ' ; and John 
Milward's was for him as ' a generall Teacher.' These three, therefore, 
are three several specimens of the three kinds of Licence issued viz., 
(i) a General Licence ; (2) a Licence for a Teacher in a specified 
place ; and (3) a Licence for a * Place.' 

Then (ii.) : on E. (3) there are notes inserted by Sir Joseph, telling 
us how the licences entered were secured. The first three notes tell us 
who took away the first seven licences entered on that page. They are 
all entered as granted April 2, 1672 (a Tuesday) ; and these notes tell us. 

1 8 2 

276 Detailed and Expository 

they were delivered to the licensees in person the following day. The 
first five entries are (i) for Thomas Cawton, his person and his house in 
St. Ann's Lane, Westminster ; (2) for James Sharpe, his person and a 
house in King's Head Court in Beach Lane (now Beech Street, Barbi- 
can) ; and (3) the personal licence for Nicholas Blakey, Blackfriars; and 
the note appended to the last is : ' Delivered These above to y e parties 
* themselves. Apr. 3. 72.' 

This simple entry makes the whole transaction live before us. On 
that Wednesday, April 3, in the year of grace, 1672, we see Thomas 
Cawton leave his house in St. Ann's Lane, pass Dean's Yard, cross the 
Sanctuary, go along King Street, and through Holbein's arched gateway 
into Whitehall, pass the Privy Garden and the Banqueting Hall, into 
the Great Court on the right, and returning to its farther corner on the 
south-east, turn sharp to his right into Lord Arlington's Office. We 
see James Sharpe leaving his home, beyond Aldersgate in the Old City 
Wall, wending his way through Smithfield, into Fleet Street, down the 
Strand to the northern end of Whitehall (at Charing Cross), and then 
due south to the great gate of the Court Yard, perhaps meeting his 
friend Cawton there, that they may go in to the Office together. And 
we see Nicholas Blakey walking down the steep decline from his house 
under the shadow of St. Ann's Church to the river-side, stepping into a 
boat at Blackfriars Stairs ; rowed up stream, past the mouth of the Fleet 
River (now dignified by the name of the New Canal), and that imposing 
series of lordly mansions, with their beautiful gardens sloping to the 
water's edge, which must have made the northern aspect of that bend 
of the Thames a reminder of the Cambridge * Backs ' ; past North- 
umberland House and Scotland Yard to the Palace Stairs ; stepping up 
on to the pier-like approach to the Whitehall Palace Buildings, and up 
the road between the Chapel and the Buttery, past the Great Hall on 
the left, and sharp round through the Great Court, and by the narrow 
opening in its south-eastern corner to Lord Arlington's Office, perchance 
to meet his friends in the Office itself. 

The second and third notes by Sir Joseph still on E. (3) are 
appended to the licence-entries for Mr. William Sims : for himself as 
' a Presbyterian Teacher ' and for Mr. Piccard's house in Kingston- 
upon-Thames as a < place ' for him to preach in. These notes are 
identical in terms : < delivered M r Sims himselfe 3 Ap.' That gives us 
the pleasant picture of the ejected minister, who ten years since had been 
driven from his charge in Leicester, and had found refuge in Wim- 
bledon ; who while there had three years back been reported as preach- 
ing at illegal Conventicles in Ewell (R. 265), and was now settled in 
Kingston ; taking the stage coach there, driving past Richmond Park, 
through the villages of Wandsworth and Clapham to Lambeth, taking 
ferry across to Westminster, and then on foot past the Cathedral, into 
King's Street and Whitehall. Verily these little annotations by Sir 
Joseph breathe into Benson's dry-as-dust entries something of the 
1 breath of life.' 

When we pass from these to the next entry we find a note more 
vivid and vivifying still. The entry records the licence granted on 

The Indulgence Documents 277 

Tuesday, April 2 for ' a certaine Howse near adjoining to Blackfriers 

* Church,' which was to be Nicholas Blakey's meeting-house and preach- 
ing station ; and the note appended reads : ' desired by M r Blakey, who 

* was brought by Mr. Blood.' What a dramatic touch is here ! Not 
only did he come to receive his licences to Whitehall on that Wednes- 
day, but he had made that river-journey some days before to make 
personal application for them. He had not made his venture alone, 
however. The ejected minister, who had been driven trom his living 
at Pebmarsh, at the further limit of Essex, opposite to Sudbury, and 
had found asylum in this great City of Refuge, under the shadow 
of the Parish Church in the purlieus of Blackfriars, had secured the 
influence of one whom he may have befriended and sheltered when 
a wandering outlaw, but who now stands high in the favour of the 
King and the Court, a special protege of the Duke of Buckingham, 
and for some months past an habitue of Whitehall both the Palace and 
these * lodgings ' of Lord Arlington none other than the ' notorious ' 
Colonel Thomas Blood (of Dublin Castle and Tower of London fame). 
We see Blood meeting Blakey by appointment, probably just outside 
the Office, or, it may have been, in that convenient rendezvous the Great 
Stone Gallery, and taking him into Sir Joseph Williamson's Office, 
introducing him to Sir Joseph or to Mr. Benson, speaking a word in 
his favour, and leaving a memorandum or a message which secured 
prompt attention to his request. 

(iii.) Yet further, there is another batch of ten licence-entries, the 
note appended to which introduces us to a man of greater importance 
and influence in this matter of the Indulgence than even Colonel Blood, 
and of a personality almost as interesting. I refer to Dr. Butler. 

In the negotiations between the Court and the Nonconformists, no 
one had exercised a more effective influence, and no one had taken a 
more vigorous part in the subsequent conferences held at Whitehall, 
when once the King in Council had decided to issue it conferences in 
which they settled the form which the Indulgence was to take, the 
actual formulae to be adopted in the licences issued, and the methods in 
which the Indulgence was to be worked. 

Of these ten licence-entries, two are the last entered on E. (3) : two 
others are the first on E. (4) ; five others are the last on the same page ; 
and the tenth is the first on E. (5). And to all ten is appended the 
same note : < Desired by D r Butler, & sent to him 4 April.' The 
entries are all dated ' April 2.' 

The licences thus entered are for Edward West, of Ropemakers' 
Alley, Little Moorfields ; for Dr. Samuel Annesley, of Spittlefields ; 
for Christopher Marshall, of Topliffe, in Yorkshire ; for John Harrison, 
of Pebmarsh, Essex, the place whence Nicholas Blakey had been ejected ; 
and for John Milward and Robert Chambers, whose residence and 
ministerial sphere are not specified. For each of the first four two 
licences are required one licence for the applicant as Teacher or 
Preacher, and the other for the Place in which he wishes to exercise his 
ministry ; for the last two, only one is wanted for each, because they 
both desire a ' general licence ' a roving commission to preach in any 

278 Detailed and Expository 

place licensed or allowed. The simple note appended to the entries, 
therefore, brings Dr. Butler before us as interested enough in these six 
men to apply at Whitehall for licences for them. 

Nor is it difficult to trace the consequences of Dr. Butler's personal 

(1) First, the memorandum of application by Dr. Butler, for the 
first two and the last two of the above list, which is fortunately pre- 
served in 320 (25), is specially honoured with an endorsement in Sir 
Joseph Williamson's own hand. 

(2) Second, by an act of courtesy quite unusual, Sir Joseph sends 
the licences to the applicant soon after they were made out ; instead of 
letting them lie in the Office until they were called for. 

(3) Seeing that the application in 320 (25) is unsigned, we should 
not have known who handed it in at Whitehall, for it is evidently 
not in Dr. Butler's handwriting (so easily recognizable in its character- 
istically crabbed scrawl), had it not been that Sir Joseph was sufficiently 
interested in the matter to add to the entry the note that it was 
Dr. Butler who did so. 

Further, from other sources, we are able to indicate much that is 
interesting about one of these ten licences. 

Of the two for whom the licences were to be ' general ' one was 
4 Robert Chambre.' Now this ' Robert Chambre ' was probably the 
'Robert Chambers' who was implicated in the Plot of 1663 for the 
surprise of the garrison of Dublin Castle, in which his brother (Col.) 
John Chambers, was an active participant, and of which (Col.) Thomas 
Blood was the leading spirit. In that same year (1663), on May 31, 
one James Tanner made a deposition before the Lord-Lieutenant (pre- 
served in S. P. Ireland 305, pp. 116-17) in which, among many other 
things, he alleged that * Blood told witness that Robert Chambers, 
c a minister, was in the said design, and Robert Chambers was seen 
c by witness at Blood's house, and Blood had been at Chambers' house 
4 in the Coome.' Like Blood, he escaped to England, on the premature 
disclosure of the plot ; and had apparently been living in London ever 
since. Under the 'alias' of Mr. Grimes he had been a frequent preacher 
at secret Conventicles in 1663-64, was one of the noble band who 
ministered to the Plague-stricken populace in 1665, and was reported as 
holding a Conventicle at Home Alley, Aldersgate Street, in 1669 
(R. 220). 

(iv.) On E. (4) between the first two which were desired by Dr. 
Butler and the five which follow, two licences are entered for John 
Durant for the Almnery Hall, Canterbury. 

And these again have special interest given them ; because, appended 
to the first is the following significant (but somewhat puzzling) note : 
4 Desired by Mr. Mascall a Merch 1 upon a lett r from y e Teacher & 
' Congregation 4 Ap. '; while we have a formal application in the 
stately handwriting of Robert Mascall, preserved in 320 (32) : 


The Indulgence Documents 279 

4 Of y e City of Canterbury John Durant Teacher 
' Their Meeting Place is 

' The Almirey Hall (her'tafore belonging to Ethelberts Pallace) 
' Situate near and without y e walls of y e City of Canterbury in or near 
4 y e Burrough of Longport. 

4 Whitehall Ap 4: 1672 Rob Mascall of London.' 

Both the note and 320 (32) are dated April 4, yet the licence-entries 
are dated April 2. The most probable solution of the difficulty is this. 
Durant had written to his old friend and parishioner, Mr. Robert 
Mascall (who in the Commonwealth days had been a prominent citizen 
of Canterbury), with a petition for these licences from the congregation. 
Mascall had left them at Whitehall (May 30 or April I or 2), and now, 
with his signed memorandum, he came, on the 4th, to claim the licences 
which had been awaiting him two days. 

(v.) In three other licence-entries [on E. (5)], a note appended 
shows that ' Mr. Innesse ' is performing the same kindly function as 
Dr. Butler ; and is treated with the same exceptional courtesy by the 
authorities of Whitehall, the licences being c sent to him.' 

These are two for Thomas Doelittle and his meeting-house 
adjoining his own house in Mugwell Street (now Monkwell Street), 
[just within the City Wall at its north-west corner near Cripplegate], 
and one for Edmund Calamy. This Mr. Innesse is also a specially 
interesting personality. There were two of the same name, James 
Inness (or Innes), father and son, sometimes spelt ' Ennys ' or * Ennis.' 

The father, a Scotsman who enjoyed the friendship of Lord Lauder- 
dale, a powerful member of the Cabal ministry, had first settled at 
St. Breock in Cornwall ; but his conscience not allowing him to remain 
after the passing of the Act of Uniformity ; he had come to live in 
London, or, to speak more exactly, in Ax Yard, King Street, West- 
minster. Through the influence of Lauderdale he soon obtained access 
to the Court ; and, despite his Nonconformity, enjoyed the personal 
favour of the King. 

His son and namesake became agent for obtaining licences for those 
who had not leisure or opportunity to obtain them for themselves. In- 
troduced early to the work by his father, he soon came by his quiet 
industry and zeal to do it on a far larger scale than any one else, except 
John Hickes, so that he might well be called (as I have incidentally 
suggested elsewhere) the Nonconformists 1 'universal provider.' 

In the three notes inserted in E. (5) there is scarcely any doubt that 
it is the father who is intended by Sir Joseph Williamson. 

(vi.) Further, there are two marginal notes, as distinct from notes 
appended to the text, on E. (2), which are also of exceptional interest. 
Both of them, like all the other notes we have been examining, were 
written in by Williamson. Unfortunately the first, owing to the 
minuteness of the characters, I have not been able satisfactorily to 
decipher. And the experts in the Record Office have been unable to 
help me. It applies to four licences two for Theophilus Polwheele in 

280 Detailed and Expository 

Tiverton, and two for Lewis Stuckley in Exeter. [The applications 
for these took the form of elaborate Petitions addressed direct 'To y e 
' Kings most Excell 1 Maj tie> ; and fortunately both have been preserved : 
the first in 320 (18) ' The humble Peticon of a Church of Christ in 
'Tiverton '; and the second in the very next document 320 (19) ' The 

* Cordiall acknowledgm* & humble Petition of a Church of Christ in 

* Exeter.'] The note reads ' Given to M r T ... to send down.' 
But the name of the person thus favoured is a mystery. It might be 
' Tvait,' or more probably ' Teart.' Yet neither interpretation com- 
mends itself as really satisfactory.* 

The second marginal note links the last two entries on E. (2) with 
the only two entries on the first. It applies to the two licences for Samuel 
Cradock of Geesings in Suffolk, who had been ejected from the living 
of North Cadbury, Somerset, but had been able to retire to a com- 
fortable estate in the Parish of Wickham (Brook) in Suffolk, which had 
become his by inheritance from a rich uncle. 

There was probably a personal friendship between Cradock and 
Jenkyn (as Calamy spells the name), who has the distinction of being 
the first to receive a licence under the Declaration of Indulgence. 
William Jenkin had had an honorable ministry first as curate or Lec- 
turer at St. Nicholas Aeons, in the heart of the City of London ; then 
for about a year at Hithe, near Colchester in Essex ; then for some 
seven years at Christchurch, Newgate, when, on the death of Charles I., 
though a stout Puritan, he was suspended and sequestered by Parliament, 
because he refused to give public thanksgiving for the execution of the 
King and the destruction of the Monarchy. But after a brief retire- 
ment in Billericay, he returned to London, and, though he suffered a 
short term of imprisonment in the Tower as implicated in Love's plot, 
he ministered at Blackfriars with great acceptance ; and at the request 
of his old parishioners, lectured in his old parish of Christchurch, till 
Christopher Feake (the Fifth Monarchist|who had been appointed in his 
place), when remanded to the Tower, was removed from the living ; 
when Jenkin resumed his ministry there till he was ejected in 1662. 
He then went to live outside the walls, not far from his old parish, in 
Home's Alley (a turning to the right out of Aldersgate Street), where 
we have just noted Robert Chambers under the alias of Mr. Grimes, 
was reported in 1669 as holding a Conventicle, and where Jenkin 
himself preached to many of his old parishioners spite the Penal 
Statutes. Here we see him securing the very first licences granted under 
the Declaration of Indulgence to preach in the meeting-house in Home 
Alley [Chambers being content to receive the Royal authority to preach 
at any allowed place]. 

We should scarcely have imagined that these entries would have had 
any special moment and importance in the eyes of Sir Joseph William- 
son. Yet he evidently did think them critical of a new epoch. 

* Calamy (II. 287) has, as ejected from Winchester, FAITHFUL TEATE, D.D.,' 
but he can tell us nothing about his career. Nor do the main facts of his life as given 
in the account (is D. N. B. ) of his son, Nahum Tate, show him to have had any 
connection with Devon, or to have spent any time in London. 

The Indulgence Documents 281 

In his Diary for the month of April, 1672 (preserved in the Record 
Office) we have these entries: 

'April i. 

c Tuesday 2. Mr. Jenkins takes out his Licences to preach : the 
c first that was taken out. 

< lver on licences to Congreg 11 way sent downe 

' 3. Wednesday. 

4 Licences 2 (sic) Preach Maddockes 

' Vincent 
' Sharp 
< Blackey 
' Cawton 

< to Sims.' 

The licence-entries of the first two of these five (it will be observed) 
have no note appended to them by Sir Joseph : save that the first two 
and the last are annotated by him as * Presbyterien.' 

They are entered between the four sent down by Mr. T. ' Ap. 2,' 
and the two given to Mr. Jenkins to send down the same day ; and 
evidently were not c given out ' at the same time with them. But (as 
appears from Sir Joseph's Diary) they were given to 'Sims' (i.e., 
William Simms of Kingston-on-Tftames) the next day, April 3, the 
day on which, as the note on E. (3) informs us, Mr. Sims'* licences were 
' deliv d to M r Sims himselfe.' 

In this Diary-jotting Sir Joseph seems to have slipped into a mistake 
about Sharp, Blackey (Blakey), and Cawton ; as the Entry-Book note 
declares that their licences were ' delivered to the parties themselves,' 
not given to c Sims ' as his Diary-note suggests, the same day that Mr. 
Simms received his. 

The only other notes inserted in this Entry Book are confined 
to the forty pages which follow. And they quite naturally fall into two 
groups, each connected with one name. To mention the last first. 
On E. (43) three Congregationalist licences for Henley-on-Thames 
are entered as issued ' Apr. 22.' To the first two is appended the 
single word * Cressett,' but to the third, the fuller note is inserted, 
' Delivered out to Capt. Cressett 24 Apr.' i.e., two days only after 
they were ready. Elsewhere we shall find that this Captain Cressett 
acted as agent in other cases connected with two distinguished London 
Nonconformists Dr. Jacomb and Dr. Owen. 

A second set of eleven suggests, if they do not directly name, 
another Licence-Agent, whose character and activities are of an 
almost romantic interest I mean, John Hickes, late of Saltash, Corn- 
wall, now of Kingsbridge, Devon. One note on E. (31) is appended 
to an entry for Henry Cornish of Stanton Harcourt, Oxfordshire, and 
reads : 'Delivered to Mr. Hicks '; a second on E. (33) appended to the 
entry of a general licence for John Gardner reads, ' M r Hickes fd it 
'23. Apr.'; and a third on the very next line, appended to the entry of 
one for the house of David Bayly both of Bridgwater, and both dated 

282 Detailed and Expository 

April 19, 1672 runs : ' Mr. Hicks reed 23. Apr. 72.' All these notes 
are in Sir Joseph's handwriting. 

The fourth on E. (39), however, written over the name of John Fox, 
of Marshfield, Glocester, in these terms, ' Mr. Hickes rec6! it 23. Apr., 1 
is apparently in Mr. Benson's hand. 

On E. (7), E. (8), and E. (9), too, Mr. Benson has written in 
brackets, after the licence entries of eight Devon ministers [seven out of 
the eight being * general' licences] c is of y e County of Devon '; and, 
as shown elsewhere, it was so written because for these eight, Mr. Martin 
of Plymouth and Mr. John Hickes had made personal application at 
Whitehall, on their arrival in London to present in person to the King 
an Address of Thanks from no less than seventy-two Devon ministers. 
It was John Hickes's initiative which doubtless secured the early issue. 

Notes such as these undoubtedly do much to redeem the pages of 
the Entry Book from sterility and ' dry-as-dust '-ness. Only they are 
so few that they help us only to an infinitesimal extent. 

We may be very thankful, therefore, that in 320 and 321 we have 
implicit a great body of information, of a character similar to that given 
to so limited an extent in these scrappy notes; and to these then we 
may turn to get the living breath which turns the c dry bones ' of the 
Entry Books into a living host of men and women eager to obtain for 
themselves or for others liberty to worship God in methods dictated by an 
instructed conscience and under the impulses of a quickened spirit. In 
them we have the actual memoranda of application put in by the appli- 
cants at Whitehall, and of receipt left by those who had the satisfaction 
of fetching licences away. 

Though a number of them have neither date affixed nor signature 
attached to them, those which bear a signature give us in all one hundred 
and forty names. I have done my best to identify these names, and to 
gather information of the personality and careers of those who bore them. 
Many still remain scarcely more than names ; and to give these a 
living meaning, there is room and call for further research. In the pages 
which immediately follow, I have given the fruits of my own labour. 

How to present the information gained in any reasoned or organic 
order has been a very difficult problem. One group stands naturally 
apart from all the rest as associated with special grit, and energy, and 
zeal ; I mean those who came to Whitehall in person to claim their 
licences, and when successful, came in person to take them away. 
These I treat first in our next chapter. The rest who acted as proxies 
or agents for others I have arranged as far as possible in groups suggested 
by their personal ties, their social position, or their professional character. 
Where this was out of the question, I have placed them in a miscel- 
laneous list alphabetically arranged, and given with each what scraps 
are suggested by the licences themselves which they either sought or 

The Indulgence Documents 283 



OF those who came to Whitehall in person to secure their licences 
there were thirty-eight. From almost every part of the country did they 
come. Only one of the groups into which we have distributed the 
counties is unrepresented and that the most distant of all the 
Northern. Three came from the Northern Midlands : one from Notts, 
one from Leicestershire, and one from Rutland. Two came from the 
Southern Midlands : one from Warwick county, and one from Bristol. 
Four came from the Eastern Counties, viz., one from Suffolk, and three 
from Cambridge. But most of them came from the two groups which 
were south of the Thames, and from the Metropolis itself. Nine came 
from the South-Eastern group, and seven from the South- Western. Of 
the nine which came from the South-Eastern group, one came from 
Berks, two from Middlesex, two from Kent, one from Surrey, and three 
from Hampshire : while, of the six from the South- Western counties, 
three are from Dorset, and three from Devon. From the London area 
there came eleven : a very small proportion of the scores of Noncon- 
formists, to whom London was either their usual place ot residence, or 
had become their city of refuge and adopted home. And of these 
eleven, only three were from the City proper and the East End 
(Stepney). To the other eight, the villages of Hackney (Clapton) and 
Stoke- Newington contribute three, the Borough of Southwark one ; and 
the Strand, Westminster, Middle Moorfields, and Bartholomew Close, 
each contribute one. 

To all these English pilgrims we must add two from Wales ; both 
of them from Swansea in Glamorganshire. 

Of the whole number eleven are laymen. All the rest are ministers ; 
ministers who had been ejected from their livings in 1662. 

In dealing with them we cannot do better than follow the local or 
geographical order. 


First, then, from the Northern Midlands came three: one from 
Notts, one from Leicestershire, and one from Rutland. 


The first is John Whitlock of Mansfield. 

John Whitlock's name is attached to only one document 320 (168). 
Therein he appears as Agent : (i) For friends* in Mansfield (where he 
was residing at the time) ; (2) for others in Nottingham f where he had 

* Robert Porter and John Billingsley. 

t One preacher John Leighton ; and one house John Chamberlain's. 

284 Detailed and Expository 

worked for eleven years till the Act of Uniformity ejected him, as well as 
in Bingham, for which he seeks licences for William Cross in the house 
of Thomas Porter; (3) for others yet in the counties of Derbyshire* 
and of Bedford, where he had spent the first five years of his active 
ministry ; and (4) lastly, for himself and his dwelling-house in Mans- 
field: acknowledging his receipt of these 14 licences in Whitehall. 

In his long ministry he had been as closely associated in personal 
friendship and service with a Mr. William Reynolds, as were Damon 
with Pythias, or as David would fain have been with Jonathan. [It is 
singular that his friend's name does not appear upon this paper.] He 
was a native of London, being born there in 1625. His father, a mer- 
chant of ancient family, sent him to Cambridge to be educated for the 
ministry. There, at Emmanuel College, he was chamber-fellow with 
young William Reynolds, with whom he formed so close a friendship 
that, for almost the whole of their life, they lived under the same roof; 
even after their marriages sharing the same study, though they wisely 
kept entirely separate establishments. For two years the friends were 
separated. Reynolds was forbidden by his father to enter the ministry : 
and was sent to Russia to conduct the foreign department of his father's 
business. But at the end of that time, his father's death demanded his 
return to England, and set him at liberty to follow his original intention 
of entering the Christian ministry. 

John Whitlock had just settled at Leighton Buzzard, on the western 
border of Bedfordshire, and there Reynolds joined him; the two friends 
living and labouring together for five years, from 1646 to 1651. Re- 
fusing to take the Engagement, they lost the Augmentation at Leighton, 
which was all they had there (though they had been working first Oking- 
ham al. Wokingham in Berkshire, and then Aylesbury at the same 
time); and they were much straitened (though they had means of their 
own). In a most providential and unlooked-for way, they received a 
call to Nottingham St. Mary's (Cal. III. 102), which they accepted ; 
and there they remained until the Act of Uniformity expelled them. 
For the next three years they lived at Colwich Hall about a mile off : 
though they were pitilessly persecuted under the Conventicle Act. The 
Five Mile Act in 1665 compelled them to retire to Therbrook (/.*., 
Shirebrook) in Derbyshire; but in 1668 they removed to Mansfield, 
where they found quite a company of like-minded sufferers for Noncon- 
formity, and there they continued to live and labour for seventeen years ; 
so that it was from Mansfield that John Whitlock came up to London 
to secure these licences for himself and his friends. 

In 1685 they were seized on suspicion of complicity in Monmouth's 
rising, and remained in confinement in Hull for two years. On their 
liberation and under the Toleration Act, they returned to Nottingham, 
and laboured there in honour and usefulness till their death Reynolds 
in 1698, and Whitlock ten years later, in 1708. 

* Two ministers, Samuel Nowell and John Otefield ; and two houses, those 
of John Richard and John Spateman, the former in Newton, and the latter in 

The Indulgence Documents 285 

There is a brass plate to their memory, and that of others of the 
ejected of Nottingham and the neighbourhood, fixed to the reredos (?) 
of the communion-table in the Old Meeting-House, which was erected 
there on the restoration of the Chapel, 1870. It is reproduced in 
Horner Groves's ' History of Mansfield ' (p. 339). 

Licences had been applied for on Whitlock's behalf and that of his 
friends about a month after the issue of the Declaration of Indulgence, 
on 320 (105). This contained a list of applications for several other 
licences beside those he acknowledges on 320 (168). 

It is headed by applications for four licences for the neighbourhood 
of London : two for Wapping and two for Highgate, which seem to be 
in the handwriting of Robert Mascall. The rest are all in the same 
handwriting ; and look very much like an official list drawn up by 
Francis Benson from several applications given in orally or on slips. 
They include four for the Town of Nottingham, not acknowledged on 
320 (168), for the very sufficient reason that all four were refused as 
being public halls. One is for himself to preach in the Town Hall; 
one for his friend, William Reynolds, to preach in the County Hall; one 
for John Barrett to preach in the Spice Chambers; and another for 
Samuel Cotes to preach in the Free School. 

The rest were issued on the iyth of April, and are all entered in 
E. (27) except that for the house of Thomas Bryan in Leighton Bud- 
dezart, which is entered on E. (26). 

John Whitlock signs the paper acknowledging their receipt on the 
2Oth, only three days later. This, be it remembered, is little more than 
a month after the publication of the Declaration of Indulgence (March 
15, 1671-72). So that John Whitlock and his friends were stirring 
betimes, and had not been long in doubt as to whether they would 
avail themselves of the Indulgence; and it is an indubitable sign of 
Whitlock's earnestness and energy that he should have made the 
journey to London personally to secure them. 

Mansfield was nearly 140 miles from London by the main road, so 
that the journey Whitlock undertook to effect his object was a serious 
and a costly one. Its first stage would be through Sherwood Forest to 
Nottingham, thence through Loughborough to Leicester; and from 
Leicester, through Harborough, Newport Pagnell, and St. Alban's, to 
London. The approach from the Midlands was through Highgate and 
Islington. We do not know where John Whitlock would be staying, 
except that it would probably be with some of his near kindred. For 
London was his native place, and coming once more into its crowded 
streets, he would be reminded of the days of his childhood and youth 
when the city had been surging with all the excitements which ripened 
into the outbreak of civil war. But if it was at all central to the city, 
his way to Whitehall would be from the Old Swan Stairs close to 
London Bridge, by boat to the Whitehall Stairs, and to Arlington's 
offices by the way I have already described. 

The document he signs reads as follows : 

286 Detailed and Expository 

< Received at S r Joseph Williamson's office in Whitehall this 2O lh 
Aprill 1672 these licences following :* 

for M r John Leighton & for the house of M r Jn Chamberla 

Nottingh 111 

for M r Sam 11 Nowell & for the house of M r Jn Richard for Newto 
for W m Cross & for the house of M r Thomas Porter of Bingha 

for M r Jno. Whitlock and his dwelling house in Mansfield 

Nottingh m 

for Jn Otefield at M r Jn Spatema house Roadnooke Derbyshire 
for M r Samtt Clark at M r Tho : Bryas house in Leighto 


for M r Rob 1 Porter of Mansfeeld Notting m shire Gen 11 Teacher 
for M r Jn Billingsley of Mansfeeld Gen 11 Teacher 

4 by mee 



The document is in three handwritings : the first four lines of the 
list are in Sir Joseph Williamson's, the second four appear to be in 
Richard Steel's (Philip Henry's friend), but the signature is undoubtedly 
John Whitlock's own, an interesting literary relic of a remarkable 


The second who came from the Northern Midlands (and the first 
layman) is Robert Basse, of Market Harborough, if the inferences I 
draw from the one document which bears his name are sound. In that 
case, he would be taking the same route to London as John Whitlock 
of Mansfield, did only a month later. Did Whitlock call as he passed 
through the town ? 

The document is 321 (92), and is endorsed by Benson < Basse's note.' 
It consists of three paragraphs, each an application for one or more 
licences; all for Leicestershire. One unique feature of it, however, is 
that to each paragraph is added the phrase, ' To bee cal'd for p Barnaby 
< Hallett.' 

There must have been an arrangement made between Basse and 
Hallett, that the former should c put in ' the applications, and that the 
latter should go to Whitehall to take away the licences. That the 
applications were drawn up by Robert Basse, and handed in by him is 
made more than likely by Benson endorsing the paper as * Basse's note,' 
and the fact that it is dated c London May II th 1672,' shows that it was 
drawn up in London. As the first paragraph distinctly describes 

* I have already drawn attention, in another connection, to the significant fact 
that the Office in Whitehall Government Buildings, where John Whitlock actually 
received the licences, is here ingenuously called ' Sir Joseph Williamson's ' instead 
of what it really was, 'Lord Arlington's.' It is a striking, though quite uninten- 
tional, proof that the Under- Secretary so thoroughly performed the duties, which in 
his careless ease the Chief Secretary had passed on to him, that in the eyes of the 
public the subordinate had already come to be looked upon as the principal. 

The Indulgence Documents 287 

' Robert Basse,' as ' of Market Harbrough in Leicestershire,' and the 
second is for c Matthew Clarke,' ' living at Market Harborough ' ; the 
main facts emerge vividly enough. 

Robert Basse journeys to London to secure licences for his own 
house, and for Matthew Clarke who since his ejectment from Nar- 
borough had preached wherever opportunity was offered him ; but had 
apparently gravitated towards Harborough, and at last found a resting- 
place there, quite possibly in Robert Basse's home. In the Episcopal 
Returns Clarke had been reported as preaching as far North of his old 
living as Hucklescote and Ibstock (R. 206^) ; at Sibson and Stoke 
Golding (R. 207) ; and at Earl Shilton (R. 206), Sapcote (R. 209/0, 
and Ashby Ma2;na (R. 208/>), all comparatively near it ; and at Kib- 
worth (R. 208J), Great Bowden (R. 207), Theddingworth (R. 208), 
comparatively near to Market Harborough, as well as at Market 
Harborough itself (R. 207). He is charged by John Shuttlewood, too, 
h'"s ministerial neighbour at Lubbenham, to obtain licences for himself 
and his house there. Probably he called at Whitehall for instructions 
how to proceed, and quite possibly drew up his ' note ' there and then 
in Arlington's Office. It seems that his time in London was short, and 
so had made an arrangement with Barnaby Hallett to call for the 
licences when made out. The officials were rather negligent, or at 
least dilatory in the matter ; for it was not till the 2Qth that they were 
issued and entered on [E. (143)], eighteen days after he had called. 

Who took them away and despatched them to the licensees, we do 
not know. Hallett, in the course of those eighteen days, may have 
called for them so often that he despaired of ever obtaining them. 
Whatever be the explanation, however, neither he nor any one else left 
a memorandum of their receipts. 

Of Robert Basse, I have been able to get no further personal trace. 
But the Basses seem to have been a substantial Leicestershire family. 
Philip Basse, of Bredon (in the northernmost corner of the county), had 
a son Philip who was a clergyman of Wispington in Lincolnshire. 


The third, who came from the Northern Midlands, is John 
Richardson, of Uppingham. This is a very interesting case, presenting 
a problem which the meagreness of our information makes it very 
difficult to solve. He is in it closely associated with Joseph Cawthorne. 
Both had been ministers in Stamford, Lincolnshire ; John Richardson 
certainly in St. Michael's Church (Cal. II. 430), where also Joseph 
Cawthorne was married April 5, 1658, to Mrs. Elizabeth Bassano, of 
St. George's Parish, Stamford. From the entry of the marriage in the 
register of St. Michael's, too, it appears that Joseph Cawthorne was 
minister of St. George's. It describes him as 'Joseph Cawthorne, of 
' St George's, clerk.' 

John Richardson remained in Stamford till the Act of 1665 drove 
him away, when it seems he retired to Uppingham (in Rutlandshire), 
where he was still living in 1672. [He asks for licences for 'his owne 

288 Detailed and Expository 

' house in Uppingham' as well as for himself as preacher.] Calamy says 
of Joseph Cawthorne that 'some time after his ejectment he came to 
'London,' but when, he does not say. Probably it was in 1665 when 
his friend left for Uppingham. But that is by no means clear, as he 
now asks for licences, not for any place in or near London, but for his 
old sphere of work in Stamford, in the house of a friend, Mr. Humphrey 
Reynolds, probably an old parishioner there. When he did finally settle 
in the neighbourhood of the Metropolis, it was in Stoke Newington, a 
village then some distance from the City on the Great North Road, 
where Lady Hartopp resided [a granddaughter of the Protector, being 
daughter of Bridget, who was wife of Colonel Charles Fleetwood, 
Ireton's widow, and daughter of Oliver Cromwell], and sheltered Non- 
conformists, welcoming Nonconformist Conventicles in her house. It 
is scarcely likely, however, that he had settled there yet, else surely his 
application would have been for Stoke Newington (as his friend Richard- 
son's was for Uppingham), and not for Stamford. In that case, how- 
ever, it seems more likely that as soon as the pressure of persecution 
under the 1665 Act had ceased, he had returned to Stamford, if not to 
settle, yet to be the guest of Mr. Humphrey Reynolds there. 

In that case, too, we should have the attractive picture of these two 
friends journeying up to London together ; John Richardson from 
Uppingham, and Joseph Cawthorne from Stamford, each presenting an 
application for the same ten licences : 7 for Rutlandshire, 2 for 
Lincolnshire, and I for Northamptonshire. John Richardson's in 
321 (274), and Joseph Cawthorne's in 321 (275). 

But this, again, is made very uncertain, as Joseph Cawthorne's 
paper is not dated. John Richardson's is, as put in on ' May 2y th 72.' 
The Editor of the Calendar apparently ventures to think they were put 
in together, as the two papers are placed together, numbered consecutively 
274 and 275. And the probabilities are that they were, as May 27th 
was so near the date beyond which none of these precious memoranda 
are preserved viz,., the middle of June. 

[In the absence of certainty, however, I have inserted my notice of 
Joseph Cawthorne at the end of this Chapter, among those who ' put in ' 
licences personally, as residents in the London area.] 

The application made by John Richardson was neglected for nearly 
a fortnight. The licences were not issued till June loth [as is attested 
by their entries on E. (160)] . It is clear that Richardson could not 
stay in London to receive them, or he would certainly have left his 
memorandum of receipt. 

Nor have we any receipt in Cawthorne's hand. So, again, we are 
left in the dark as to who called for them, and despatched them to the 

Both Richardson and Cawthorne are said by Calamy to have had a 
University training, and both to have been educated at Cambridge. 

But the signs of it are much more evident in the memorandum left 
by Richardson. The spelling is wonderfully correct, even to that word 
which is so often mauled and martyred 'Presbyterian.' Cawthorpe 
avoids that test word altogether by (most criminally) omitting all de- 

The Indulgence Documents 289 

nominational epithets. But his spelling of proper names is meat irregular. 
<wn friend in Stamford he calls < Mr. Reynolles ' in one line, and 
4 Umphrey Reynolds' in another. [Richardson has called him * Mr. 
' Humphry Reynolds.'] ' Lincolnshire,' he represents by * Lyncoln h .' 
Richardson's 'Glye' becomes 'Slye,' and ' Dosthorpe, c Dosthrope.' 
But in Mr. Langdale's house-place, he seems more accurate than his 
friend. Richardson's ' Cawcot ' is rendered c Caldecote ' (the modern 
form being 'Caldicote'). 

Calamy's notice of Cawthorne is sympathetic, but the account he 
gives of Richardson is much fuller and even more appreciative. They 
are found in Cal. II. 430-433 ; and Cal. II. 433. 


From the Southern Midlands we have two travellers, one from 
Warwickshire, and the other from Gloucester. 


Matthew Leadbeater, of Nether Whitacre, the third minister who 
goes up to London. 

Matthew Leadbeater in 320 (284), simply acknowledges the Receipt 
of two licences : one for himself as 'generall teacher,' c of Whitacre in 
'Warwickshire'; and one for Mr. Moxon, of Astbury, Cheshire; but 
his name also figures in a memorandum of applications [320 (214;] in a 
way that suggests that he put in the paper himself.* 

His name does not appear in Calamy, but that of a Thomas 
Leadbeater does. 

The references in these various documents, moreover, converge and 
interlace in such a remarkable way, that it is difficult to avoid the 
conclusion that they were brothers. 

In his notice of Thomas Leadbeater, Calamy (II., 386) tells us that 
he was a native of Cheshire, the district about Nantwich, that he was 
educated in Cambridge, that in his earlier days ' he was chaplain to the 

* pious Lady Wimbledon,' that he was appointed to the Vicarage of 
Hinckley, in Leicestershire, where ' his ministerial labours were very 
'acceptable and useful,' and that after his ejectment he retired to his 
own country, taking out a licence in 1672 for a house of his in 
Armitage, near Church Holme,t and ending his days in Wirral. 

Now in 320 (214), the applications are all for Warwickshire, where 
4 Matthew Leadbeater, presb,' in the last line of the memorandum, 

* doth Humbly beg a licence to preach in any Licenst place,' and 

* It contains four items, duly numbered, and the last reads : 
'4. Matthew Leadbeater presbyt. doth Humbly begg a License to preach in 
' any Licenst place for the use of those of his perswasion.' 

f In an official list of applications (the latter part of which, at any rate, is made 
out by Francis Benson [320 (94)]) application is made for 'Mr. Thomas Leadbeater. 
'Pr. at his howse called the Hermitage. Sandbatch Parish, Cheshire,' and both 
licences are entered as granted April 16, 1672 'E. (22). (23,]. Church Hulme (or 
Holme; is also called Holmes Chapel, and is a township chapelry in the parish of 
Sandbach. Calamy seems to have mistaken the name of Thomas Leadbeater's 
house in Church Hulme for the name of a parish near it. 


290 Detailed and Expository 

licences are asked for ' Kingsbury and Coleshill,' which are not far from 
Nether Whitacre, the one north and the other south of it, as well as 
for Nether Whitacre itself, of which, in his Receipt 320 (284), he 
describes himself as a resident. But what is specially interesting is that 
the place in Nether Whitacre, for whjch a licence is asked, is 'the 
4 House of Sophia Viscountesse Wimbaldon in the parish of Nether- 
4 Whitacre in Warwickshire for the use of such as are of the Congr. 
* perswasion.' Surely, then, it was here that Thomas Leadbeater was 
chaplain in his earlier years, and it certainly looks as if Matthew might 
well be practically chaplain there now. 

How can we avoid the conjecture that Matthew and Thomas 
Leadbeater were brothers ? that Matthew was finding refuge for his 
Nonconformity where his brother had enjoyed a profitable patronage, 
while Thomas retires to their ancestral estate in Cheshire (the house 
called < The Hermitage, in Church Hulme, in Sandbach parish ') ? and 
that it was for a ministerial friend and neighbour of his brother Thomas, 
in Cheshire, that Matthew is doing a service, when he fetches away a 
licence for George Moxon, the much persecuted minister of Astbury 
(which is only a few miles from the Hermitage, in Sandbach) ? 

This is the memorandum [320 (284)]. Addressed at back : 

< May 2. 72 

4 Rec d a Licence generall for Matth. Leadbeater of Whitacre 
in Warwickshire & a Licence for Mr. George Moxon for his House in 
Astbury, Cheshire. 

c p me 


His journey to London would not be an easy one, and its expense 
would be considerable. But we can scarcely doubt that for this special 
journey the Viscountess Wimbledon would be ready to help him, 
although he was a Presbyterian, and she desired a licence for her house 
for Congregationalists to worship in, especially if she was broad-minded 
enough to make him practically her chaplain. 

He would travel via Coleshill to Coventry, and then on to the 
Stratfords (Stony and Fenny) through Daventry and Towcester, and 
through Dunstable to St. Alban's, whence his route to London would 
be the same way as those who came from the Northern Midlands. 

The second, who came up from this South-Midland group, was 


Jeremiah Holwey (Holway), of Bristol (the second layman). 

He is not as so many were that precede him a minister. He is 
a Puritan layman, of grit and earnest purpose, who feels so strongly on 
religious matters as to journey all the way from Bristol to London to 
secure a licence, authorizing the use of his house for public worship by 
those of the Congregational faith or order. He may have gone by sea 
in one of the trading vessels plying round the south coast and the 
English Channel ; but more probably he would take the coach, or post 

The Indulgence Documents 291 

along the great Western road through Bath,Chippenham,Marlborough, 
Hungerford, Newbury, Reading, and Maidenhead, through Hounslow 
Heath and Brompton to Charing Cross. 

His application is preserved on 321 (84). It is endorsed by Francis 
Benson, < Holwey's House ' ; and reads : 

' M r Jeremy Holwey house in Cornestreet in Bristoll for one that is 
Lisenced of the Congregationall perswasion 

' the io th of May 1672. 


This was on a Friday. It was attended to within a week, for the 
licence is entered on E. (117) as granted on the i6th inst. It is the last 
on the page : 

4 The howse of Jeremy Holwey in Cornestreet, Bristoll Congr. 
Meeting Place. 16 May.' 

Whether Holwey stayed in London long enough to go to Whitehall 
again, and receive the licence in person, or commissioned some friend to 
call for it, and send it on, we do not know, for no memorandum of its 
receipt is preserved in the Record Office. The house thus licensed is 
likely to have been a large one, for Corn Street was then and is now 
one of the principal streets of the city. It (on the west) with Wine 
Street (on the east) runs along the highest ridge, and is met at their 
point of junction by High Street running south, and Broad Street 
running steeply north, down to St. James's Gate (still preserved). It 
contained some of the principal buildings of the city, including the 
Town Hall ; and most probably local city records would reveal some- 
thing interesting of this good Congregational citizen of Bristol. 

The minister for whose service it was licensed was almost certainly 
John Thompson, for nine years a student (? fellow) of Christ Church, 
Oxford. Other two Congregationalists were licensed viz., William 
Troughton and Enoch Gray. But they were not licensed till between 
three and four months afterwards Enoch Gray September 5 [E. (239)], 
and William Troughton on September 30 [E. (251)] whereas John 
Thompson had been licensed exactly a month before Holwey's house,* 
and so was the only ' one that is Lisenced of the Congregationall per- 
' swasion ' at the time. Holwey himself applied for his licence viz., 
on May 10, 1672. 

Since writing the above, I have examined 4 the local city records,' 
and have found what I expected. 

The City Archives of Bristol show that Jeremiah Holwey was a 
wealthy and respected citizen. As early as 1656 he had secured the 
confidence of his fellow citizens so far that they elected him a member 
of the Common Council. For some reason unstated was it modesty ? 
or the fear that civic business would too much try his faith ? he tried 
to evade the responsibility and to avoid office. 

* Thompson's licence was entered April 16 [E. (27)], and Holwey's May 16 
[E. (117)]. 

l 9 2 

292 Detailed and Expository 

As witness the following minute in the Common Council Records : 

' 26 Aug. 1656. M r Jeremy Holwey formerly chosen a member of 
the Comon Council, being this day sumoned to appeare and to take 
y e oath of a Comon Councellman uppon his appearance refused to 
take the said oath.' 

The City would not let him go ; and more than a year later, we 
find that his scruples had been overcome, and that he had consented to 

'9 Sep. 1657.' ^ n a ^ st ^ tne Common Council, inserted in a hand- 
writing different from the rest of the minutes, are these words : 

* M r Jeremy Holwey . . . according to the sumons ordered by this 
house, appeared and was sworne a member of the Comon Councill.' 

Mr. Holwey appears to have attended regularly from this date to the 
end of 1660. Indeed, as late as May 8, 1660, we find a reference 
which implies either a special confidence in him, or a spiteful scheme to 
entangle him in trouble with his Puritan friends (at the same Council 
Meeting at which they chose their two Members to represent them in 
the First Long Parliament of Charles II.'s reign viz., Mr. John 
Stephens and Mr. John Knight, senior) : 

* It is ordered that M r Alderman Yate and M r Holwey doe speake 
with M r Ewens and informe themselves by what authority he preaches 
the Thursday Lecture at S 1 Nicholas, and report the same to this house/ 

This ' M r Ewens ' is, of course, the Thomas Ewens who was the 
first Pastor of the great Baptist Church at Broadmead, Bristol. 

Five months later, too, in this same year of the Restoration, he was 
nominated for the second Sheriff of the city. Was it with the hope 
that, if elected, he would either refuse, or buy himself off with a heavy 
fine? [In the Commonwealth times that happened again and again 
with well-known Royalists, < Cavaliers,' or < Malignants.'] The 
record runs: 

'5 th Sep. 1660. M r Thomas Stephens' (I suppose brother of the 
Recorder, Mr. John Stephens) * having positively refused to serve one 
of the Sheriffs, and a fyne of 2Oot havinge been imposed on him for his 
contempt, and being comitted to Gaole for nonpaym 1 thereof. The 
Mayor, Aldermen, and Common Councell proceeded to a new Eleccon 
of an other person to be a second SherifFe for y e yeare ensueinge 
Whereupon M r Jeremy Holwey was nomated by M r Mayor, M r 
Anthony Gay by the Aldermen and Sheriffs, and M r John Knight 
sen r by the Comon Councell, and M r John Knight was chosen second 

Probably Mr. Holwey thought himself fortunate to escape office 
in the changed times, when he was so utterly out of sympathy with 
the revived Ecclesiastical Establishment ; and amongst the names noted 
as absent ' on 25 July 1661 ' is his : * Jere: Holwey ', following that of 
' Joftes Knight sen r .' His name occurs as present September 25, 1661 : 
< Jeremia Holwey.' It is dropped from that date onwards, and we may 
take it he was glad to withdraw ' unscathed ' from the civic duties of 
those Royalist days, when, to his good Nonconformist conscience, all 
things would seem strangely out of joint. 

The Indulgence Documents 293 

It would be a special pleasure to him in the year of Indulgence 
when Royal action had once more made religious liberty possible to 
those who sought the Royal licence to journey up to London and 
secure one for his house, that his friend Mr. Thompson, the Congrega- 
tional minister, might conduct services in it. 


From the Eastern Counties three come : one from Suffolk, and two 
from Cambridge. 


John Pindar is the pilgrim from Suffolk. 

Calamy has little to say about him. He gives him (III., 295) as 
ejected from Wingfield, Suffolk; describes him as *A pious, affable 

* man ', and tells us that < after his ejectment he lived at Ousden, where 

* he had a good estate * ; adding, ' he constantly attended his parish 

* church, and seldom preached.' Yet the Episcopal Returns of 1669 
report him as preaching at Cowling (R. 230), * Att the houses of John 
*Juggards & Gilbert Colliers,' and at Thurlow Magna (R. 230), in 
association with Stephen Scanderet, to congregations < at the house of 

* one John Barnes & of Samuel Alison numbering 60, sometimes 100.' 
These are both on the road from Owsden to Haverhill; the former 
between three and four miles, the latter six miles further from Owsden; 
and when, in 1672, he applies for licences, it is for authority to preach 
at Cowling, one of the places already mentioned ; and for Rede (or 
Reed), which is as far to the South-east from Owsden as Cowling is 
south by west (almost due south) of it. 

He had got a Mr. Coleman (presumably a friend resident in Lon- 
don) to apply for these licences. The application-mem, is 321 (131), 
endorsed ' Coleman's note Suffolk ', which reads : 

* M r John Pindar of the Presbyterian perswasion to be Licensed for 

the dwelling house of Robert Sanfield of Reed in y e County of 

4 The house of Robert Sanfield of Reed in y e County of Suffolke to 
be licensed for a congregation to meet in of the Presbyterian 

< The house of John Collyer of Couling in the County of Suffolke 

to be licensed for a Congregation to meet in of the Presbyterian 

4 To be delivered to M r RICHARD COLEMAN.' 

The licences are granted. They are entered on E. (112) : 

* Licence to John Pindar to be a Pr. Teacher in the howse of Rob. 

Sanfield in Reed in Suffolk. 13 May 

* The of John Collyer in Couling, Suffolk Presb. Meeting 

Place. 13 May. 

< The howse of Rob. Sanfield in Reed in Suffolk Presb. Meeting 

Place. 13 May ' 

294 Detailed and Expository 

Whether Mr. Coleman was suddenly disabled from going for the 
licences he had secured, or not, we cannot say. For whatever reason, 
we find that it is not Mr. Coleman who takes them away, but Mr. 
Pindar himself, and only two days after they had been issued. He 
came up to London expressly over this matter ; and, on May 1 5, calls 
for them, taking them with him as he leaves, leaving behind him this 
rather peculiarly phrased memorandum, 321 (161) : 

' A licence for the person of John Pindar & for the house of John 
Collyer & Robert Sanfield 

' received this fifteenth day of May 1672 

4 taken out by mee 


To reach London from Owsden, he would probably post first to 
Bury St. Edmunds, and then on the great high road through (Long 
Melford and) Sudbury, Halstead, and Chelmsford. 

All these facts certainly picture John Pindar as much more 
energetic and eager than we should gather from the brief notice of 

Of the two ministers who came from Cambridgeshire, each is 
characteristically representative of the denomination to which he belongs 
Francis Holcroft, of the Congregationalist, and John Denne, of the 


Francis Holcroft was a remarkable man ; of great learning, but 
intense evangelistic fervour and preaching power, he was also a great 
champion of Congregational principles. 

A native of the immediate neighbourhood of London the son ot 
Sir Francis Holcroft, of West Ham he was educated at Clare Hall, 
Cambridge, where he had as his chamber-fellow John Tillotson, who 
ultimately became Archbishop of Canterbury. Even while a student 
Holcroft began to preach at Littlington, nearly fifteen miles south- 
west of Cambridge Town ; and, in 1655, ne accepted the living 
of Bassingbourne, about two miles north of Litlington. After his 
ejectment in 1662 he formed a circuit of gathered Churches of the 
Congregational type, to whom he preached in turn with Jos. Oddey, 
S. Corbyn, J. Waites, and W. Beare ; yet supervising them all, like a 
* chorepiscopus ' of the third or fourth century. 

But the authorities persecuted him bitterly : and from 1663 to 1685 
he was often in prison in Cambridge Castle (twelve years in all he 
passed there) [Cal. I. 256-262], His imprisonment did not wholly 
prevent his preaching : for, in accordance with the strange practice of 
those times, he was let out by his gaoler, on ' parole ', to go to minister 
to one or other of his scattered flocks. In his troubles, too, his old 
college friend, Dr. Tillotson, often intervened for his relief and 

That as early as 1663 he was doing this chorepiscopal work we have 
interesting proof in a Paper preserved at the Record Office (S. P. Dom. 

The Indulgence Documents 295 

Car. II. 88, 73) which is endorsed : * Schismaticks. An ace 1 of persons 
w th there (sic) quallities, and places of aboad (sic) '; which has on it 
the pencilled note: 'Found under 1663'; and contains valuable lists 
of Teachers and their meetings in London and Kent, in Herts and 
Middlesex, and concludes with these paragraphs : 

4 Early in harfordshire 

4 M r Houlcraft lyes at widow hawkes who hath meetings of 300 

at a tyme there 
* M r Audey an assistant to him 3 miles from Royston at Mildred 

meetes many hundreds both Independents and Baptists 
' Cambridge 

' M r Houldcraft meetes and many hundreds with him 
' M r Audy) both assistants who takes turnes to ride into harford- 
M r Lock ) shire Cambridgeshire and Beffordshire 

at Hitchin, and pauls Wallden and att Bedford, att Shefford 
and Romney. att all these places dwells many that are 
Joyned to Houlcraft.' 

It is easy to recognize in ' M r Audey ' Joseph Oddey ; and, without 
a doubt, ' M r Houldcraft ' is Francis Holcroft himself. After most 
diligent search, and varied inquiry, I find this State Paper (Dom. 
Car. II. 88, 73) which is one of many Informers' Reports sent into 
Whitehall throughout this decade of persecution, 1662-1672 to be 
one of those which are condensed and entered in the ' Spy Book ', 
mentioned by Dr. John Brown in his 'Life of Bunyan ', pp. 224-25, 
which he describes there as ' arranged alphabetically, showing how the 
( district between Bedford and Cambridge was at this time placed under 
' surveillance, &c.' It is preserved as S. P. Dom. Miscell. 26, No. 43. 
A complete transcript of it is printed in the ' Transactions of the Con- 
gregational Historical Society,' Vol. V., No. 4. January, 1912. The 
paragraphs referring to Holcroft are the following : 

' Audey (an Assistant to Houlcroft) lives 3 Miles from Royston at 
Mildred p.*., Meldreth] where are convencons* of 
many hundreds both Independ ts & Baptists.' 

[Then on next page] 

' Audey. An Assistant to Houle Croft & Lock who rides by turne 
w th ye s d L oc k i nto Hartfordshire, Cambridgeshire 
& Bedfordshire to gather concorse of people to their 

[Then under the letter < H '] 

' Houlcraft lyes at Widdow Haukes att Barly in Harfordshire who 
hath meetings of 300 at a time. The sd: Hould- 
craft meets w th many hundreds at Cambridge. 

* I.e., Conventions or Conventicles. 

Detailed and Expository 

It looks very much as though this Spy Book were arranged, and 
begun by Joseph Williamson, to contain precis of Informers' Reports 
so as to have indexed for ready reference the names of all who were 
thus * informed ' against as holding Conventicles, preaching, and con- 
ducting Nonconformist worship : just as, in 1672, he began a Book 
tabulating and alphabetically indexing all the Licences granted under 
the Declaration of Indulgence, and entered in E., which is calendared 
as * S. P. Dom. E. B. 388,' and referred to in these volumes as I. 
Though I. has been preserved, and extends as far as the early part of 
June, it is yet imperfect, containing no List for London, etc. Both pro- 
jects were abandoned, the Spy Book much the more readily of the two. 

When we come to the Episcopal Returns of 1669, we find inci- 
dental proofs of Holcroft's evangelistic activity being still carried on in 
many directions. 

In R. (179) Holcroft is reported, with Mr. Oddey (who is 
mentioned first) and a Mr. Borne, as a Teacher at a Conventicle in 
Willingham (At the houses of John Braiser, Francis Duckins, and John 

* Crispe, j r '), usually about one hundred, and * All very meane, Except 

* some few yeomen'; and that they were gathered by messengers from 
adjoining neighbourhoods is confirmed by the added note : * And many 
' of them come from other places, and goe from place to place to Con- 
' venticles.' At Histons, again (R. 180) ' M r Holcroft ' is reported 
as associated with Mr. Oddey and Mr. Corbin as preaching to a Con- 
venticle of about thirty Independents, ' of y e middle & mean r sort, Most 
'women & mayds'; while at Ockington he and Mr. Oddey are 
reported as holding a Conventicle of Independents and Quakers, ' about 

* IOO ' in number, and ' of meane quality '; and in Over, he (with Mr. 
Corbin and Mr. Oddey) is reported as preaching to a Conventicle of 
'Fanatiques' about 100 in number 'of w ch ', however, they report, 
< not 20 ' are ' of this pish.' 

These four places are north-west of Cambridge, at varying distances. 
Then, north-east of it, at Stow-Quoy, at a Conventicle held in the 
h )use ' of Henry Bostock Carpenter,' of ' uncertayne ' numbers, ' about 
' 50 or 60 sometimes neere 100,' he is reported (R. 181) as teaching, 
with other three 'Non-Conformist Minist rs ' viz., Mr. Oddey, Mr. 
Smith, and Mr. Parke, and with 'John Overrande Labo rer & Wild- 
' man Bricklayer.' The Quality of the Conventiclers is described as 
' Mean r & poorer sort most of them ; yet some strang rs come amongst 
' y m that are wealthy ' (as ' Quy ' was near Cambridge Town, it is 
probable that 'the wealthy' ones were those who went out from 
Cambridge to hear them) ; and it is added (in the ' Numbers ' column) 
that these come ' From other Parishes halfe at least.' 

At Haddenham, again as we learn from R. (182) in the neigh- 
bourhood of those first-mentioned, he, with Mr. Oddey and Mr. 
' Corbon,' ' Nonconformist Minist rs ' address ' about 60 ' Fanatiques : 
' Most women.' On the same page, too, these same three are reported 
as having preached to Conventicles in the parish of St. Michael's, in the 
Towne of Cambridge. The Bishop states, however, that there were 
4 None for y se last 6 months '; the last that was consisted of ' about 100,' 

The Indulgence Documents 297 

though composed of ' Meane sort & inconsiderable persons.' 'It was 

* at y e Widdow Petit' s house.' 

Besides all these preachings in the County of Cambridge, he is 
reported by the Bishop of Lincoln (R. 206/>) as preaching away in the 
north-west corner of Leicestershire, to a Conventicle of ' about forty ' 
' ordinary ' Presbyterians in ' Hucklescoate cum Dunnington.' He is 
there reported as one of six ' Heads & Teach rs ,' c all ejected ministers ' : 
his name (given as 'Mr. Hocraft') last of the list. His presence, so far 
away from his Congregational diocese, is probably explained by the fact 
that ' Mr. William Smyth ejected out of the vicarage of Packington ' is 
the leader of the band, and there is little room for doubt that he is the 
' Mr. Smith,' who is mentioned as associated with Mr. Holcroft, Mr. 
Oddey, and Mr. Parke as preaching at Stow Quoy (R. 181). [The 
other four preaching at Hucklescoate (Hugglescote) are ' Mr. Matthew 

* Clarke, Mr. Bee, Mr. Crosse, and Mr. Drayton.'] 

So varied and persistent was his evangelical activity through all those 
years of persecution. 

When we come to the year of Indulgence, 1672, we find only one of 
the licence documents which bears his name, though it bears his 
signature in full, ' Francis Holcroft.' 

It is 321 (60). The whole of the memorandum, which is an 
application for eight licences, all for persons and places connected with 
this scheme or circuit of Congregational churches, is in his own hand- 
writing. The places applied for are: (i) 'y e House of Elizabeth 
' Pettit ' in Cambridge town (mentioned in R. 182) ; and ' y e House of 
'Job Hall,' in Cambridge; (2) 'a Meeting place at Meldred,' at the 
southern limit of the county ; and (3) ' a Meeting place in Willing 111 ,' 
almost at its northern limit. The persons are himself, 'Francis Hol- 
' croft,' and his assistant associates in this great work, Sam. Corbyn, 
Thomas Lock, and Joseph Oddey. 

Three memoranda of application have been preserved. The first, 
321 (28), is only for himself at a meeting-house in Cambridge. 

' Fran : Holcroft in the howse of Job Hall in Bridge Street in 
' Cambridge, a Congregational Teacher. 8 May 72.' This slip is in 
the handwriting of Francis Benson, Sir Joseph Williamson's head 
clerk. It suggests that early on that Wednesday, Francis Holcroft 
called and made verbal application for these two licences, the particulars 
being taken down by Benson across the counter. 

The other two are applications for several others beside Holcroft, and 
must have been put together later in the day, when Holcroft returned 
to Whitehall in the company of John Light. 321 (47) is not so clear or 
systematic in form as 321 (48) ; but both make application for the same 
persons, and for the same meeting-places : one of the latter being in the 
Isle of Ely (in the town of March), but all the other four in the 
Congregational diocese, which had its local centre in Cambridge. 

In 321 (48) the preachers are named in pairs with the exception 
of Thomas Locke, who is named alone for Meldred. Oddey and Day 
are named for March, Corbyn and Oddey for Willingham. But for 
Cambridge itself, we have two meeting-places mentioned, and a pair of 

298 Detailed and Expository 

preachers at each. Corbin and Day apply for licences to preach at 
Elizabeth Pettit's house near Green Street. And Francis Holcroft 
chooses Joseph Oddey as his associate to preach at the same meeting- 
house in Bridge Street. It is described in 321 (48) as * in a place neere 
' the house of Job Hall * ; but in 321 (47) it is succinctly referred to as 
4 Job Halls Cambridge,' suggesting that the meeting-house was a separate 
building erected in Job Hall's garden [as the meeting-house licensed for 
John Bunyan in Bedford was erected in the garden of Josias Roughead]. 

The memorandum signed by Francis Holcroft [321 (60)] mentions 
all these names except those of ' the meeting-house in March,' and of 
James Day the preacher. 

It is a singularly composite document, as it seems to acknowledge the 
receipt of some licences, as well as applying for others. It reads : 

* Take out a License for y e House of Eliz : Pettit 

* Taken out a Licence for y e Person of Sam. Corbyn & Thomas Lock 

& for a Meeting place at Meldred 

& for Francis Holcroft & 

' A Licence for y e House of Job Hall ' (this in Cambridge) 
4 A Licence for Joseph Oddey 
' A Licence for a Meeting place in Willing 


Then is added the sentence, in John Light's handwriting \cf. 321 
(85)] : ' Mr. Light remaineing behind.' And at the back, we have the 
words : ' Taken out y e Licences ' in Francis Holcroft's hand. 

What lies on the surface of this document is that Francis Holcroft 
journeys purposely to London to put in this application ; but that on his 
visit to Whitehall he was accompanied by Mr. Light, who had agreed 
to stay in the Office at Whitehall till all the licences were made out, as 
Mr. Holcroft had to return to Cambridge. 

The licences were all granted, and all of them bear date May 8th. 
The meeting-place at Meldred is ' The howse of Widow Evans,' and 
that in Willingham is ' the howse of Fran: Duckins ' [E. (80) and 
E. (81)]. 

The natural conclusion is that they were granted the very day that 
Francis Holcroft made application for them, so that Mr. Light would be 
able to send them down by the first post which was despatched from 
London to Cambridge. This * Mr. Light ' was evidently John Light, 
who after his silencing in Dorset came to live in London, and was 
licensed himself as a Congregational Teacher to preach in his own 
house in Thames Street. 

Of John Light's further activity as a Licence-Agent we shall see 
something when we come to treat directly of him. 

Till 1689 Francis Holcroft exercised his apostolic episcopate, nor did 
he survive the surrender of his energetic ministry more than three years. 
For he died at Thriplow, 1692. 

The Indulgence Documents 299 


These are two Baptist brothers, who between them divide the 
honours of obtaining no less than thirty licences twenty for the County 
of Cambridge, and ten for that of Huntingdon all for Baptist or Ana- 
baptist Nonconformists. John Denne is a Teacher, but Thomas is not. 
Nor, apparently, is he a resident in either of the counties concerned. 
It looks as though John came up to London to make the personal 
application at Whitehall, but was not able to stay long enough to fetch 
them, and so got Thomas to call for them later. 

The memorandum put in by John Denne is a most elaborate 
document [321 (174)]. It is headed : < A Schedule of the meeting places 

* and teachers desired by the baptised Congregations in the Countyes of 
' Cambridge & Huntington,' and is drawn up in three columns one for 
the Teachers, and one for the houses in which they are to teach ; and a 
third for the places in which the houses are situated ; the last two 
separated (or linked) by a plus and * at.' The lists are arranged in two 
groups : the one headed ' In the county of Cambridge,' and the other 
c In the County of Huntington.' The remarkable thing, however a 
point, too, which makes this list quite unique is that the column for 

* The houses ' is placed first ; that for the Teachers is placed third, on 
the right hand. Curiously enough, too, it is in three different hand- 
writings. The main columns are in one handwriting, the left-hand 
column is in another, and the signature only is in John Denne's. 

The conclusion that we should naturally draw from the list is 
probably the correct one : that John Denne was a resident in St. Ives, 
where he hired a house in which to conduct services, and that he came 
up to London, ' putting in ' this list, by personally calling at Whitehall, 
and leaving it with Sir Joseph Williamson, or his clerk. 

[The strong probability is that, spite the similarity of name, John 
Dennis of Wilbraham Magna, not far East of Cambridge, was a distinct 
personality, and he certainly must not be confused with John Donne, 
the friend of Bunyan.] 

Thomas Denne, John's lay brother, may have been a resident in 
London, entertaining John when he came up, and undertaking to call 
at Whitehall for them when John found himself unable to wait long 
enough in London to secure them. 

John Denne and his associates in this list evidently act apart from 
John Bunyan and his, for while John Bunyan (though a Baptist) will 
not call himself or any of his friends Baptist, but calls himself and them 
Congregationalists (as defining the ecclesiastical organization which was 
common to Paedobaptists and Adult-Baptists alike), John Denne puts in 
his claim for the * baptized congregations,' which he proceeds to 

This application of the Huntingdon Baptist is promptly attended to. 
The licences are all issued May i6th, as shown by the entries on 
E. (123) and E. (124),* and when Thomas Denne calls he is able to 
take them all away. 

* And where the denomination is given, it is given as Anab.,' or ' Anabaptist.' 

300 Detailed and Expository 

The Memorandum of Receipt [321 (175)] is a very different kind of 
document from the Memorandum of Application. There is none of 
the methodical formality and neatness which characterizes his brother's 
application. It is simply a list of the names of those to whom the 
licences are granted, in no order whatever; the word * Teacher' or 
* house' appended to each; just bracketed together as ' All in Hunting- 
'don & Cambridgeshire'; headed 'Received the Licences foils,' and 
signed ' p Thomas Denne.' 

These, John and Thomas Denne, must surely be the sons of Henry 
Denne, who had been educated in Cambridge, was one of the pioneers 
and protomartyrs of Baptist views, and had been twice apprehended ; 
once in 1644 in Cambridgeshire, and once in 1646 at Spalding in Lin- 
colnshire by the Parliamentary Committee. Driven out of the ministry 
by the Church authorities of those days, he had joined the army and 
had become a distinguished soldier. He had died in 1661. Dr. John 
Brown quotes a letter he wrote to his friend,* Thomas Smith (pro- 
fessor and librarian), in defence of Bunyan (p. 123). 


From the South-Eastern group of counties, we have nine : one from 
Berks, two from Middlesex, one from Surrey, two from Kent, and three 
from Hampshire. 


Richard Ellis, of Reading, is the one from Berks. This is the 
third instance of a Nonconformist layman, wishing to have his house 
licensed for Nonconformist worship, who feels interested and anxious 
enough about it to come up to London to secure it. 

He seems to have acted at first by proxy, securing the services of 
John Hickes (ejected from Saltash, Cornwall ; and much persecuted in 
Kingsbridge, Devon), who is now staying in London, to serve his 
brethren in the provinces by securing licences for them. From the 
first he does not move for himself alone. Two other Nonconformist 
laymen in R.eading join him in his willingness and desire to have their 
houses licensed for Nonconformist worship viz., Griffin Bully and 
Richard Hunt. The special denomination to which they belonged has 
no exclusive charm for them : they are anxious mainly for the freedom 
of Nonconformist worship. In the first application [viz., 321 (54)], 
which is made out by John Hickes, his handwriting is unmistakable, 
the three are bracketed together as applying in this large-minded way 

c Richard Ellis, \ . ... 
Griffine Bully, I '" Rin in Brkshire 
Richard Hunt, J t 

for Presbyterians or Independents, indifferently, to conduct the services. 
John Hickes does not sign or date the document, so that we cannot 
be sure that he < put it ' in, "though most probably he did. 

* Neal's ' History of Puritans,' II. 38771, III. io8w, 361. 

their houses for ***- & Inde P endts 

The Indulgence Documents 301 

The next two application-memoranda are in Richard Ellis' s hand- 
writing, 321 (123) certainly, 321 (124) less certainly. The same three 
Reading houses are applied for in each ; only in 321 (123) Richard 
Ellis puts Griffin Bully before himself. 

But he puts each very distinctly, ' Griffin Bullys house in Redding 
'&c.' [note the spelling, in a citizen of the town itself] ; * Rich. 
4 Ellis his house in Redding &c. ' ; and < Rich. Hunte his house in 
< Redding &c.' In 321 (124) they are put together again, more after 
the fashion of 321 (54): 

' In Redding in the County of Berkes 
< Thp hrmsp nf "Rirh F.11i Hri'ffi 

< The house of Rich : Ellis : Griffine Bully & Rich : Hunt/ 

and immediately after is a clause definitely indicating John Hickes's 
active service in the matter : c deliver'd by John Hickes.' 

In each of these three application-memoranda, the application for 
these three Reading laymen is associated with others. In the first with 
four for Somerset, and two for Herts ; in the second and third, with the 
same two for Herts (Chipping Barnet), but with five others for Wilts 
(not Somerset). It is singular, and surely significant, in a not altogether 
satisfactory way, that in applying for licences for their houses as Non- 
conformist meeting-places in Reading there is no application for a 
minister or ministers to preach in them. In the whole of these 
* Original Records,' indeed, there is allusion to only three ministers of 
either the Presbyterian or Congregational order in Reading ; and, about 
each of these, strange circumstances seem to preclude the idea of their 
ministering regularly or reliably in any of these three houses. 

Two of them are Presbyterian : Christopher Fowler and Richard King. 

(i) In the case of Christopher Fowler an application was put 
in by Thomas Blood (the notable Colonel Blood of Tower of 
London fame), that Christopher Fowler might be licensed to preach in 
Griffin Bully's house [321 (210)] ; and matters went so far that a 
licence was made out (i.e., the blanks were filled in with the particulars) 
[321 (257)] . The licence was neither signed nor dated, and the im- 
perfect licence remains in the Record Office to the present day. This 
was all subsequent to the complete licensing of all three of the houses 
of which we are speaking. They were all licensed May 13, 1672 
[E. (102) and E. (Ill)], and were taken away by our Richard Ellis the 
following day ; and Colonel Blood's application was not made till six 
days later May 19 [321 (210)]. 

Fowler, moreover, did not endorse the action of Colonel Blood on 
his behalf. He had been ejected from Reading (Cal. I. 294, 295), so 
that it would have been most natural and peculiarly welcome, we should 
think, to the Nonconformists of Reading, had he secured a licence to 
minister to his old flock in each of these three houses in turn. [One cannot 
resist the conjecture, indeed, that Richard Ellis in making his application, 
had hoped that this is the arrangement which would be carried through.] 
But Fowler applies himself [321 (265)] for licences to preach at his 
own house in Kennington, whither he had retired, instead of among 
his old friends in Reading ! and secures the licences only six days after 

302 Detailed and Expository 

Colonel Blood had applied for him to preach in Griffin Bully's house 
[E. (137)]. 

So that this most promising ministerial connection for Richard Ellis 
and his two friends was put out of the question by Christopher Fowler's 
own action. 

(2) Richard King's licence-entry is not dated, so that we cannot 
be certain that it was ever issued. If it was, it would not be till the 
month of November (as the entry on the line above it in the same page 
[E. (271)] is dated November 18, 1672). It reads : 

'Licence to Rich: Kinge of Reding in y e County of Berks Pr 
' Teacher,' and shows that Richard King, who had been ejected from 
somewhere in Dorset (Cal. II. 175) and had retired to Reading, did not 
wish to tie himself to Reading as his sphere much less to either of 
the three houses licensed there but simply to be free as a Presbyterian 
Teacher to preach in any licensed place. 

The only other minister referred to in connection with Reading is 

(3) Dr. John Pordage (Neal, II. 631, 632), who in 1669 was reported 
(R. 240) with Mr. Bromley, as < suspected to be Conventicle hold rs & 
'Teachers also' at Bradfield, whence he had been ejected in 1657 ty 
Oliver's Triers, though restored on Charles's accession in 1660 ; but 
who, at this time, was living in Reading. In 1669, moreover, he is 
reported as not alone fostering this Conventicle in his old sphere at 
Bradfield ; but also (R. 240/) as the chief Teacher of two Conventicles 
in Reading itself the one in the house of a Mrs. Farnham, and the 
other 'at one Burren's, formerly Cromwell's Butler.' So that he, too, 
might have ministered to the Nonconformists of Reading in one or 
other of these three houses. Yet he would be distrusted by them in 
matters of doctrine, and on account of his attitude to the Cromwellian 
Puritans. For he had written against Oliver's commissioners a 
pamphlet, entitled ' Innocency appearing'; and this had been answered 
by Christopher Fowler. Between these two ministers, then, relations 
were probably still so strained that neither would care publicly to 
officiate in these Nonconformist meeting houses. 

Mr. Bromley (R. 240) might supply them from Bradfield ; or either 
of the ministers licensed for Oakingham (Wokingham), Benjamin 
Perkins or Thomas Gardiner (both old Bucks ejected clergy) ; or 
perhaps William Brice from Maidenhead. 

Still, though disappointed of their natural hopes of definite ministerial 
connection, these three Puritan citizens of Reading carried through 
their design ; and Richard Ellis went up to London to see the matter 

He carries it through in courtly style. He does not (as many did) 
timorously address himself to Mr. Francis Benson, head clerk to Sir 
Joseph Williamson, nor even to Sir Joseph Williamson ; but to Sir 
Joseph's chief : for the memorandum of receipt [321 (148)] is addressed 
at the back, ' The Right Hon bl the Earl of Arlington '; astutely giving 
him his new title. [He had been created ' Earl ' only three weeks 
before (on April 22).] And he takes away with him three licences for 
Marlborough, three for Devizes (both of these in Wilts), and two for 

The Indulgence Documents 303 

Herts, besides the three for Reading (for himself and his two friends) 

eleven in all subscribing the document almost triumphantly: 'All 
* these Rec d the I4th day of May 1672. p me Rich: Ellis.' He would 
probably journey to London (and return) by the coach road through 
Maidenhead, Colnbrook, and Hounslow, and so through Hammersmith 
to Charing Cross. 


Edward Probee is one of the two from Middlesex. 

Here again we have a Nonconformist layman (the fourth layman 
we have noticed) coming to town to get licences. This time, how- 
ever, it is not for himself alone or, as in the last case, for brother- 
laymen but for his minister and himself, as well as for a neighbouring 

He has no long journey to make, for he and his minister are residents 
at Chiswick, and the neighbouring minister is of Brentford both on 
the Thames just opposite Kew and now both within the vast area 
of c Larger London.' But in those days it was a journey, and the edge 
of London was not reached until they had passed along the great high 
road from Staines to London, through the hamlets of Hammersmith and 
Kensington to the eastern end of Hyde Park (Hyde Park Corner). 

The three licences he was able to take away had been applied for 
three times.* In the first memorandum 320 (189) they were on the 
same paper with an application for Mr. David Clarkson of Mortlake 
(a little farther up the Thames, the Surrey side of the river). But Mr. 
Clarkson's case was being taken up and carried through just at that time 
April 25 [320 (188)] and [320 (285)] by Mr. Matthew Shephard (or 
Heppard), so that the second application [320 (190)] contains only these 
three just in the order in which they are mentioned in Mr. Probee's 

The third and last was like unto it [320 (282)]. Only in another 
hand, opposite Mr. Case's name, we have the note 'This I have'; and 
at the foot the further note appended * Given out 2 May.' [These 
notes must have been added at least two or three days after the applica- 
tion was put in, for the licences are dated April 30, 1672 E. (48).] 

The official who actually delivered them to Mr. Probee was not 
Sir Joseph Williamson, but his chief clerk, Mr. Benson [320 (283)]. 

The mem. reads : 

4 Rec d this 2n d of May 1672 of M r Benson 
a licence for M r Thos Case of Chiswick an 
other for M r John Jackson of Brentford 
& an other for the house of Ed: Probee of Chiswick 


The minister (Thomas Case) to whom he was so warmly attached 
as to offer his house as the * meeting-place' for his ministry, was one of 
the veterans of the Nonconformist host. Born before the seventeenth 
century dawned, he was now seventy-four years of age. 

* They were licences for Thomas Case and himself at Chiswick, and for John 
Jackson, of Brentford. 

304 Detailed and Expository 

He was a native of Kent, where his father had been minister of Boxi< 
'His own first pastoral charge' (Calamy I. 153) was at Erpingh: 
in Norfolk, but Bishop Wren's severities drove him from Erpingham, and 
he afterward settled in London, being appointed to the sequesten 
living of St. Mary Magdalen's, Milk Street, where he was very labork 
and faithful in his ministerial work. He was the founder of 'TJ 
* Morning Exercise.' 

He was a strong royalist in sympathy, and had been implicated 
Love's plot in 1650-51, so that in 1659 ne could not take the 
ment and had to surrender his living. [Mr. Thomas Vincent was his 

He was chosen one of the ' 10 Presbyterian Preachers ' who, the 
following year, crossed the Channel to Holland, and on May 16 ' waited 
'on King Charles II. at the Hague with a Tender of their and 
'their Brethren's Duty and Affection.' In the short interval between 
his ejectment from Milk Street and his journey to the Hague, however, 
he was not idle. He was lecturer at Aldermanbury and St. Giles's, 
Cripplegate [and afterwards Rector of St. Giles's in the Fields 
(Calamy)]. After the King's return he was appointed one of the 
Commissioners at the Savoy in 1661 ; but, spite his royalism, he was 
silenced, because he could not accept the conditions of the Act of 
1662, and retired to Chiswick, where, though his public ministry was at 
an end, he ceased not in private to do all the good he could. After the 
brief ten months of liberty in 1672, he spent the remaining nine years 
of his life in quiet service, and died May 30, 1682, aged 84. 

What gives added interest to this licence which Edward Probee 
secured for his minister, is that it is one of the few ' actual licences ' 
which are preserved to this day. It is preserved in the British Museum 
Library (MS. Department) in the Lansdowne Collection (Vol. 1236, 
fol. 134). Besides the necessary signatures by 'Charles R.' above, and 
by Arlington at the foot, and Benson's note at the left-hand bottom 
corner ' tase a Teacher,' it has the Royal Signet attached at the top 
left-hand corner. 

It is made out for Thomas Case living in the Parish of Chiswick 
Middlesex ' of the Perswasion commonly called Presbyterien to be a 
Teacher, and to teach in any place licensed and allowed by Us &c.,' 
and is dated '30 th Aprill, 1672.' 

It is entered on E. (48) on the same page in E. as the other two 
which Probee took away, only in the reverse order to that given by him 
in his receipt. 

'The howse of Edward Probee in the Parish of 
Cheswick Midd Pr. Meeting Place. 30. Apr. 72. 

' Licence to John Jackson of Brentford Midd. to be 
a Pr. Teacher in GralL 30. Apr. 72. 

'Like _to Thomas Case of Chiswick, Midd. Pr. 
30. Apr. -2." 



Probee's howse. 







The other neighbouring minister was Mr. John Jackson of Brent- 
ford, son of Arthur Jackson, Rector of St. Faith's under St. Paul's, who 

The Indulgence Documents 305 

like Mr. Case had been implicated in Love's plot, imprisoned and fined 
j5OO, but had continued in this living till ejected by the Act of 
Uniformity (August 24, 1662). 

His son, John Jackson, was Rector of St. Benet's, Paul's 
Wharf, till, late in 1661, he was ejected. But he was reappointed 
to Moulsey, on the Surrey side of the Thames (just opposite to Hampton 
Court). He could not, however, retain the living long. Conscience 
forbade him, as it forbade his father, to accept the Act of Uniformity ; 
and on his ejectment from Moulsey he retired to Brentford probably 
to be near one so like-minded in matters political as well as ecclesiastical 
as his father's old friend, Mr. Case, at Chiswick. 


William Nicoll is the other from these Home Counties; also a 
layman (the fifth to show his ' grit ' this way), a citizen of Uxbridge 
who comes up to Westminster to receive licences for his stirring little 
town, and among them one for his own house. 

They had been applied for by a Mr. William Bowler, of whom I 
have been able to obtain no further information. The memorandum 
of application by Bowler is 321 (130), and this memorandum of receipt 
by Nicoll is 321 (255). William Bowler's paper is unfortunately un- 
dated ; but William NicolPs receipt is dated bearing its date as its 
heading : ' May the 24 th 72.' 

The licences received by Nicol are the whole of those asked for by 
Bowler, and had all been entered on E. (107) and E. (108), as issued 
the same day viz., May I3th. So that they had been waiting to be 
taken away eleven days before William Nicoll went up to Whitehall to 
inquire after them, and, as it proved, triumphantly to take them away. 

Let us, then, look at the two agents together, as negotiating the 
same set of licences. 

There were six of these : three for teachers (Hugh Butler, Robert 
Hall, and Hezekiah Woodward), and three for houses, all in Uxbridge 
(in the part of Middlesex bordering on Bucks). 

The application-memorandum [321 (130)] is endorsed by Benson : 
* Bowlers note,' and reads : 

c M r Hugh Butler presbeteran 
M r Robert Hall independent 
M r Hezakia Woodward presbeteran 
the hous of M r John Crowder 
the house of Richard Piscoe 
the house of William Nicoll 

in the parish of Woxbridg in the County of Middlesex 

presented by William Bowler ' 

Of the William Nicoll, whose receipt [321 (255)] is dated May 24, 
1672, we see that he was the last in the list of those whose houses were 
licensed ' in the parish of Woxbridge in the County of Middlesex.' So 


306 Detailed and Expository 

that he must have been a resident in Uxbridge, who came up to Town 
from Uxbridge to secure the licences for which his friend William 
Bowler had applied. 

Though Calamy can tell us little about these licences, the Episcopal 
Returns of 1 669 tell us much : 

(1) William Nicholl gains greatly in our estimation. For in the 
Return (R. 222^) c Uxbridge ' is given as having * Severall little Con- 
' venticles.' And in the very first in the list of seven Nicholl is spoken 
of in these terms : (i) ' The Chiefe in the house of one Nicholls, a very 

* old man.' All honour, therefore, to this veteran Puritan, who, in 
1669, is the host of the chief Uxbridge Conventicle; and three years 
later has spirit and vigour to go into Westminster, to take away the 
Uxbridge licences from the Office in Whitehall. [Was he any relative 
of Charles Nicolls, the energetic evangelist who was ejected from 
Adisham (Cal. II. 318, 319) ?] 

Then, working up the list of licences applied for, we come to : 

(2) ' Richard Piscoe ' as desiring one for his house. He is mentioned 
also in the 1669 Return. The fourth Conventicle reported is: 'In 
' y e house of one Buscold a Rich Tanner'; and it is in his house that 
Woodward lives. 

Then we come to Woodward himself, given in with our list as 

(3) <M r Hezekia Woodward presb.' Of him the 1669 Return 
speaks at length. In ' Buscold's house ' (or * Biscoe's ') there < lives an 
4 old Intruding Minister of Bray nere Windsor : and hath been a con- 
4 stant Teacher these 3 or 4 years ' [/.<?., since 1665 or 1666] ' on Sundays 

* & some Weeke days ; he is frequented by y e best of y e Towne. He 
' is an Excommunicate pson. His name is Woodward.' 

He is noticed, too, by Dr. Walker (< Sufferings of the Clergy ') and 
Anthony Wood in his < Fasti Oxonienses.' Dr. Walker speaks of him 
in connection with Dr. Anthony Farndon (or Farindon), who, 'on 
4 the Breaking out of the Rebellion,' was dispossessed both of the 
Divinity Lectureship in the Free Chapel at Windsor and the Vicarage 
of Bray (II. 96) ; and, with reference to the last, says : < He was suc- 

* ceeded in this Living by one Woodward, a Violent Independent, and 
< Chaplain to Oliver ' (Part II. 240). 

Anlhony Wood makes a brief reference to Woodward in his notice 
of Dr. Edward Fulham, who succeeded him at Bray (on the gift of the 
Bishop of Oxford), but gives a much fuller account of him as an 
author educated at Oxford : 

* Hezekiah or Thomas Woodward ' [it will be seen that Dr. Calamy 
has adopted the second Christian name, while the licence application 
uses the first only spelt c Hezakia '] ' was always puritanically affected: 
sided with the Presbyterians in 1641, & was a great zealot, & frequent 
preacher among them either at St. Mary's in Aldermanbury or near it. 
Afterwards he took the Covenant, and shewed the use & necessity of it 
in his discowrse & preaching ; but soon after, when he saw the Inde- 
pendents & other factious people to be dominant, he became one of 
them : and not unknown to Oliver, who, having quartered more than a 
year in the vicaridge house at Bray, near Maidenhead in Berks, during 

The Indulgence Documents 307 

the time of the rebellion (in which town he had opportunity to know 
the parish to be very large, being a whole hundred of itself) he sent after- 
wards thither our author Woodward, being then his chaplain, or at least 
favourite, under the notion of doing some eminent good to that great 
place, & to take care of the souls therein. He continued there 10 years 
or more' (1649-1659) c and had the good opinion of the rabble and 
factious people : but of others of sense, not.' . . . * He was very 
invective against the King, his followers, whom he called Malignants, 
the Church of England, her rites, ceremonies, & all forms of worship ; 
and it is commonly reported among the inhabitants of Bray that he 
wrote a book against the Lord's Prayer. ... He had a select congrega- 
tion out of his parish of those that were to be saved, who frequently met 
to pray in the vicaridge house, which, if he had staid a year or two 
more, would have destroyed all that were to be saved by falling upon 
them ; for he was a great dilapidator ; suffered some of the offices, 
stable, and woodhouse to fall ; made hey (sic) -lofts of the chamber, and 
suffer'd one side of the hall ' (the assembly room) * to drop down. 
Insomuch that Edward Fulham, who succeeded him, at the King's 
Restoration, was forced to build it up in the first month he had it.' 

Evidently, then, in the estimate of so good a judge of men as 
Cromwell, Hezekiah Woodward was a strong man, a good preacher, 
and essentially a pastor ' as an assiduous shepherd of souls ' a sound 
Independent and a practical believer in 'gathered churches.' No 
wonder, then, that after his ejectment from Bray and retirement to 
Uxbridge he could not remain silent or inactive ; and became practi- 
cally the founder of a Congregational Church the c chiefe Conventicle 
' in the Towne' from 1665 or 1666 to 1669, * in y e house of one Buscold 
4 a Rich Tanner '; but later in the house of our friend and active agent 
the veteran William Nicoll. [Though the licence entries E. (107) and 
(108) make both teacher and host Presbyterian.] 

(4) To Robert Hall, Independent, again, there is an interesting refer- 
ence in the 1669 Return, though Calamy (I. 298) knows nothing of 
him, but that he was ejected from Colnbrook, Bucks. He is the 
' Preacher or Teacher ' of the fifth Conventicle, ' In the house of Edw. 
' Nicholas a bold, factious fellow. One Hall, a late soldier, is Teacher. 
4 And as scholem r ' [schoolmaster] c teaches many children.' 

(5) Nor is it otherwise with * M r Hugh Butler presbeteran ', the 
first upon the licence application-list. His is the sixth Conventicle in the 
1669 Return, held [not, as desired now, in John Crowder's house, but] 
4 In y e house of one Swift, a Cooper ; Where lately was held a most 
' audacious Meeting.' The Teacher was * One Butler lately come from 
c Amersham.' All Calamy has to say about him is that he was ejected 
from the Rectory of Beaconsfield, and was * a very grave person, and 
< a solid divine' (I. 297). 

Or does the Return intend that Butler is the Teacher of the seventh 
Conventicle at * Hillingdon ' ? and that Swift, the cooper, held a Con- 
venticle in his own house ? The lineation of the Return is not very 
clear, so that its significance is ambiguous. 

The whole of the six for whom Bowler sought licences are signalized 

20 2 

308 Detailed and Expository 

in the Episcopal Returns of 1669 ; but other four therein mentioned 
viz., * Tim Fly, Tradesman ' ; one ' Hale, a Stiffe Sectary ' ; Edward 
Nicholas, 'a bold factious fellow '; and * one Swift, a Cooper/ made no 
application for licences in 1672. [Were they Quakers, or extreme 

All six licences were ready on May 13, and as neither William 
Bowler nor any other Nonconformist friend in London went to White- 
hall to fetch them, William Nicolls though in 1669 'a very old man ' 
has energy and determination enough, eleven days later, to go to 
London, posting or coaching along the high road, through Hillingdon, 
Southall, Hanwell, Ealing, Acton, Shepherd's Bush, and Kensington 
(then all separate hamlets in the country), to London, traversing Tyburn 
and Oxford Street, and then down St. Martin's Lane to Charing 

It is on a Friday he makes the memorable journey ; and, calling at 
Lord Arlington's Office in Whitehall, finds the licences ready. The 
licences are handed in by Sir Joseph, or by Benson ; and, leaving a 
memorandum of receipt which he wrote out on the spot he takes 
them back with him to Uxbridge. 

The writing and spelling show his age and want of culture, but 
the memorandum remains a lasting memorial of his vigour and 

It is preserved in 321 (255), and reads : 

' May the 24 th 72 

' Rec d then a Lycence for R l Hall to teach in the house of Rich. 
Biscoe of Uxbridg an other for Hazekiah Woodward to teach in the 
house of William Nicolls of Uxbridg an other for Hugh Buttler to teach 
in the house of John Grower in Uxbridg all in Middlsex 

' By mee 


The liberties taken in spelling, so characteristic of this period, are 
signally illustrated by the variation in his own name, ' Nicolls ', in the 
memorandum ; becoming ' Nicholl ' in his signature ; ' Piscoe ' of W. 
Bowler's application becoming Biscoe in Nicholl's receipt ; ' Crowder ' 
becoming 'Grower'; 'Butler' becoming 'Buttler'; and 'Hezakia' 
becoming ' Hazekiah.' 


From Surrey we have one : John Daberon. 

He, again, is a layman the sixth in our list seeking a licence 
for his house as a Presbyterian meeting-house. He is residing at 
Walton-on-Thames, and considers it worth his while to go to West- 
minster to make personal application at Whitehall. On his modest 
journey thither he would keep to the south side of the river till he 
reached Lambeth probably joining the great Guildford road at Esher, 
and passing through Thames Ditton, Kingston, and Wandsworth. Or he 

The Indulgence Documents 309 

might join the high road at Kingston, crossing the river twice first at 
East Moulsey, then skirting Hampton Park, and re-crossing it at the 
western end of Kingston. 

From Lambeth he would take ferry to the southern limit of West- 
minster, and so on to Whitehall. There he left a memorandum, 
preserved as 321 (188), which Benson has endorsed < Daberons note,' 
and which reads : 

' for the house of John Daberon in y e parish of Wallton upon Thames 
in Surry : presbiterian 

' for JOHN DABERON :' 

The application was duly attended to, for the licence is entered as 
granted May 16, 1672, on E. (117) : 

' The howse of John Daberon in the Parish of Walton upon Thames 
in Surrey Pr. Meeting Place. 16 May' 

Whether it was attended to promptly or tardily we cannot tell, as 
his application was not dated. Nor have we any memorandum of 
receipt to tell us who took it away from Whitehall. 

The name he bears is a distinguished one, for it must be a variant 
of Dabernon (D'Abernon), a county family who gave their name to 
the hamlet of Stoke d'Abernon, some six miles or so south-south-east of 
Walton. The Manor was the gift of William the Conqueror to one of 
the family called heraldically ' Dawburnon the Normand'; and John is 
a Christian name not alien to the family ; for Sir John d'Abernon, in 
1253, na< ^ a g rant of free-warren in his lands from Henry III. 

The meeting would probably be supplied from Kingston by either 
Richard Mayo, who had been Rector there in the Commonwealth days, 
or William Sims, who had retired thither after ejectment from Leicester ; 
or even more probably from Wey bridge, by John James, who had been 
ejected from Ilsley, in Bucks (Cal. I. 288). 

From Kent, two came ; one from its north-east corner in the Isle 
of Thanet, the other from its most important port of Dover. 


Peter Johnson was a native of Thanet, and came of a very reputable 
family in the Island, as is confirmed by the fact that in Foster's Al. Ox. 
he is styled < gent.' He was entered as scholar of Corpus Christi 
College, Cambridge, and was at first intended for the profession of 
the Law, as appears from his taking chambers in Gray's Inn, London, 
in 1648. His ideas changed, however, and he decided to enter a Puritan 
ministry. In 1 649 he * began ' again by matriculating from Magdalen 
Hall, Oxford, and graduated B.A. the same time. He proceeded 
M.A. June 5, 1651, was ordained in London in 1654 : his ordination 
certificate being signed by Edmund Calamy, senr., Simeon Ash, and 
three others, and was appointed to Maresfield, Sussex (at the southern 
limit of Ashdown Forest), where he remained till ejected in 1660. 

310 Detailed and Expository 

He then received appointment in the land of his nativity at St. Law- 
rence, in the Isle of Thanet. His ministry was not a long one, as he 
could not conform ; and therefore a second time he suffered eject- 
ment. He still remained in the neighbourhood, 'teaching school,' 
and now and then preached at Ramsgate, where he was the first to 
gather a dissenting congregation. From the licences he sought, and 
obtained, we see that he did not confine his evangelistic activity to 
Ramsgate, but gathered a Presbyterian congregation also in Margate. 
His application is preserved in 321 (127), and is endorsed by Benson, 
* Johnson's note. Kent.' 

* M r Peter Johnson desires a Lycence to teach in the house of 
Rob: Smith at Romonsgate ' (Ramsgate) 'In the He (sic] of Tenant' 
(Thanet) * in Kent, and in M r W m Perkins house in Margate in 

* of the presbyterien p r swation 

' to be Taken out by mee 


The licences were all issued May 13, 1672, as entered in E. (102). 

'Licence to Peter Johnson to be a Pr. Teacher in the howse of 
W m Petkins in Margatte, (sic) Kent. 13 May ' 

'The howse of W m Petkins in Margatte, Kent. Pr. Meeting 
Place. 13 May 

' The howse of Rob. Smith in the Isle of Tenant Kent Pr. Meeting 
Place. 1 3 May ' 

One thing in the above calls for remark, and that is that 
though he asked for licence to preach at Ramsgate as though his 
connection with Ramsgate were the closer his personal licence is 
made out to preach at Margate ; the Ramsgate house is licensed 
additionally, as that at Margate was intended to be, by the terms of 
his application. 

Practically, of course, it made no difference ; but one would like to 
know why the places were reversed. 

Calamy tells us (II. 345) it is from Calamy and Foster's ' Alumni 
' Oxonienses ' that this brief account is compiled that while preach- 
ing ' he did not altogether absent himself from the established worship. 
' He was a man of good learning, and very useful gifts. But at last he 
' lost his sight, and for several years was confined by various afflictions. 
'He died' Calamy adds 'in 1704 and was buried in St. Lawrence 

Though, in his application, Peter Johnson says so distinctly ' To 
' be Taken out by mee,' the memorandum of receipt is not preserved ; 
so that we cannot tell whether he staid long enough in London to 
carry out his intention. It was no mean journey he had to take : 
for it was sixteen miles to Canterbury from Margate, and by the great 
high road was another fifty-five miles from Canterbury to London 
(through Sittingbourne, Rochester, Gravesend, and Greenwich, and so 
to Lambeth ferry and Westminster), over seventy miles in all. 

The Indulgence Documents 311 


The second is Richard Hobbs of Dover. 320 (81) is the only docu- 
ment that bears this name. 

It is unique in form as an ' application/ It is not a Petition to 
the King, nor a letter to Sir Joseph Williamson or his subordinate, 
Mr. Benson. Nor is it a mere memorandum of applicatidn left at 
Whitehall when the application was made. It is a sort of Certificate 
of the desire of a large body of Baptists 'all the Baptized people' 
(they called themselves) ' in Dover/ expressed in this rather formal 
document, signed on their behalf by four members of the Church, their 
Teacher or Pastor, ' Richard Hobbs,' being one ; and includes the 
request that the licences, when ready, may be delivered to ' this bearer,' 
whom I imagined to have been this same Richard Hobbs, their Pastor. 
It is endorsed by Benson 'Dover,' dated 'Dover 15 Apr. 1672,' and 
reads : 

' These are to certifie That as a testimony of o r thankfull acceptance 
of his Ma ties gracious declaration of the I5th March last, wee do 
humbly desire wee may have a licence for RICHARD HOBBS to be o r 
Teacher & also a Licence for o r meeting-house, w ch is allready fixt & 
fitted, being a roome at the Southend of Samuell Tavenors house neere 
y e Market-place in Dover, & that the said licences may be delivered to 
this bearer to send downe to us. 

' Signed by us whose names are und r written, by the consent & 
appointing & on behalfe of o r selves & all the Baptized people in Dover. 




Unlike so many of their Baptist brethren who refused to ask a 
licence, they are moving early only just a month after the issue of the 
Declaration. They secured their licences very readily, too ; for they 
were both issued, in the terms they desired, only five days after they 
signed their request viz., April 20. Now when we realize that even 
an Express post on his Majesty's service took thirteen hours to execute 
the journey, it shows that whoever undertook the actual task of going 
to Whitehall to present the document must have shown commendable 
alacrity. I have taken for granted that William Hobbs did it himself; 
but that perhaps is a mistaken supposition : and there is no memor- 
andum of receipt to show who took the licences away, or on what date. 

The entries are as follows : 

E- K (37). I < Lisence to Richard Hobbs to be an Anabaptist Teacher in 
a Roome in the South end of Sam: Taverners howse neare 
the Markett place in Dover. 20. Apr. 72. 

'A Roome at the South end of Sam: Taverners howse 
near the Markett place in Dover licensed to be a Anabaptist 
Meeting place. 20. Apr. 72.' 




' E. (38). 





312 Detailed and Expository 

Richard Hobbs had a further licence to preach in Lower Deale, but 
that was not dated till August 8 more than three months afterwards 
and though the house in Lower Deale is named no separate licence 
is entered for it. 

E(223). 'Like to Richard Hobbs Bapt teacher at the house of 

Joane Colemar at Lower Deale in Kent. Aug. 8 th ' 

The Presbyterians of Dover did not move for nearly two months 
after the Baptists had secured their licences. The licences for Nathaniel 
Berry (who had been ejected from St. Mary's Parish Church in 1661) 
and Mr. Edwards's house were both dated June 10, 1672. 

Singularly enough, too, the Congregationalists or Independents in 
Dover seem to have made no move at all; although, in 1669, the 
Episcopal Returns (R. 156) show that all three denominations, and the 
Quakers also, had their Conventicles in the town the note being 
inserted : ' All these are numerous.' 

It is specially interesting to find in connection with the Conventicle 
of ' Anabaptists,' that two of the names which we have before us in 
these Licence documents, are cited in the Bishop's report. ' Rich d 
' Hobs (Hobbes) ' is mentioned as a Preacher, and as one of the 
' Principalls & Abbettors ' as well ; and 'Sam. Taverner' also (a teacher 
as well as an Abettor) ; while, beside these two, ' one Milford ' is 
mentioned as a teacher, and c Laur. Knott ' as an Abettor. The names 
of Ambrose Williams and Richard Cannon, however, which are among 
the signatories of the certificate-petition, do not appear in the Episcopal 

From the above it appears that Richard Hobbs is connected almost 
as closely with Deal as with Dover. The reason is to be found in his 
intimate relations with Samuel Taverner. So intimate do they seem 
to be, that I do not think we should be far wrong to call him Samuel 
Taverner's chaplain or minister. 

In the Commonwealth times, Samuel Taverner was Governor of 
Deal Castle, and so strongly identified himself with the Baptists in the 
town, that he is credited with having built the first General Baptist 
Chapel there. With the Restoration, of course, he would lose his 
position. But for the next six years at least he continued to live in 

In an interesting State Paper preserved in the Public Record Office, 
he is referred to, as well as John Milford and Knot. It is calendared 
S. P. Dom. Car. II. 119, 21, and is endorsed : ' R. 24 Apr. 65. from 
M r Watts. Schismaticks in Deale.' 

This * M r Watts ' is evidently a renegade Baptist turned informer, for 
thejfirst paragraph in the paper referring to Taverner reads as follows : 

' Capt. Sam Taverner fformerly comander of Deale Castle 

A great witt. hee hath about 40 Ib. p. Ann. 8 children & in debt. 
Hee is the ringleader of the Phanatticks & an upholder of 
Heresies, preaching comonly at my house. And hee himself above 

The Indulgence Documents 313 

No other meaning can be put upon that last sentence but one ; 
that * Mr. Watts ' posed as a Baptist among the ' fanatics/ entertaining 
their conventicles in his own house : yet traitorously informed against 
them to the Government in 1665. 

There was a John Watts, who, in 1672, obtained a licence for his 
house in Sandwich as a Congregational meeting-place, who very possibly 
was of the same family. But this ' Mr. Watts ' is shown to be a different 
man, as on July 29, 1670, he writes from Deal to Sir Joseph and signs 
himself Richard Watts. He says : 'The Nonconformists have been 
' very whist of late, but have been encouraged by those in London fra- 
' ternizing with them.' 

That ' Samuel Taverner' was 'above ordinances,' means simply, 
I imagine, that he had conscientious objections to going to the Parish 
Church and joining in the Prayer-Book services, because superior to all 
existing Church organisations. 

The following year he is informed against by Benjamin Harrison of 
Sandwich, in a paper dated 1666, May 23, and headed: 

' Information sent by Ben. Harrison to the Archbishop of Canterbury,' 

'Capt. Taverner of Deal an Anabaptist preacher has been a 
fighting man.' 

Probably it was in 1667 or 1668 that he removed to Dover : for in 
1669 ne is reported (R. 156) as both Abettor and Preacher at a Con- 
venticle at Dover. His ministerial friend Richard Hobbs also figures 
with him in both columns. The other ' abettors ' are Robt. Hemming, 
John Edwards, and Laurence Knott ; and the two other preachers are 
4 one Milford and Luke Howard.' 

Two other of these Dover Baptists are reported among the Schis- 
maticks in Deale in 1665. ( J ) 'Mr. John Milford' (Mr. Watts 
describes as) ' A good scholler a cunning fellow, an excommunicated 
' Anabaptist. Hee is but poore : hee is followed by all the anabap 1 and 
' independent in the Cuntry. This is hee who is Lodge the post dark, 
' for Lodge cannot write A legible hand. Hee hath the view of o r letters 
' severall houres before wee see them.' (2) 'Knot/ Mr. Watts con- 
temptuously describes as ' A poor Sysmatick.' The State Papers give 
ample testimony to the fact that Dover Nonconformity flourished spite 
the Penal Statutes. 

In the second half of 1670 Carlile writes of them in three news- 
letters, directed to Sir Joseph Williamson. 

(1) On June 13 [S. P. Dom. Car. II. 276, 127] he reports: 
' Yesterday being Sabbath we sent out some officers, who found upwards 
' of 200 persons at a conventicle of Anabaptists. The speaker is 
' a tailor, who encourageth the people to stand fast and not to be 
'afraid of the wicked. One of the brethren having said he would 
' sacrifice his life for what he asserted, & seal it with his blood, I sent 
< him to prison, but the Mayor took bail and released him until the 
' sessions. Can bail be taken in such a case, it being treason or mis- 
' prision of treason ?' 

(2) Within a week he writes again [1670, June 21, S. P. Dom. 
Car. II. 276, 172] : 'Fearing my last miscarried, I renew my appli- 

314 Detailed and Expository 

' cation as to whether the sectary arrested at the conventicle for assert- 
' ing he would sacrifice his life for what he asserted is bailable. The 
' Presbyterians & Anabaptists had their meetings last Sabbath, but were 
'dispersed by the officers. 1 

J3) Again on July 27, he writes [S. P. Dom. Car. II. 277, 112]: 
' They are much troubled at Dover with an obstinate party of Ana- 
4 baptists who persist in their old way notwithstanding they are dis- 
4 persed ; and when the law is put in force, they hinder it by shutting 
' their doors & shops. Advise whether we may break open the doors & 
' imprison the teachers.' 

In 1671, spite the persistent application of the new Conventicle 
Act all the Nonconformist sects continued to flourish and increase. 

On Feb. 2, 1671, John Carlile writes to Sir Joseph [S. P. Dom. 
Car. II. 287, 171]: 'On Friday last [which would be Jan. 27] the 
' Mayor and jurats caused the Anabaptists' pulpit, forms, & benches to 
' be pulled down, and upon Sunday morning ' [Jan. 29] ' betimes the 
' staples and locks were broke off, and the Anabaptists went to their old 
{ trade again. (At the Presbyterian Meeting-house we could not get 

* in; those that hired it were so obstinate, they would not open the door, 
' so we caused a lock to be hanged.)' 

And on Oct. 28, 1671, he reports to Williamson [S. P. Dom. 
Car. II. 293, 183] : 'The Mayor, who is no great politician, is guided 
' by a party, some Quakers, many Anabaptists ; and most of them Non- 

* conformists, and excommunicated persons.' 

From Hampshire come three representatives viz., Richard Batche- 
laur, Isaac Chauncy, and Samuel Tomlyns. 


Richard Batchelaur comes from the northern borders of the county, 
where it abuts on Berks. 

There is something so firm and characteristic in the handwriting of 
the memoranda which bear Richard Batchelaur's name, and especially in 
his signature ; there is also something so fresh and forceful alike in their 
substance and their form that we cannot resist the impression that his 
personality was original and strong. 

Calamy has little to tell us. In dealing with Somersetshire, he 
merely gives him as one of the ejected in that county. ' CAMLEY [R] 
'MR. RICHARD BATCHELOUR.' (III. 181) But we learn more from 
Foster's 'Alumni Oxonienses,' viz., that Richard Batchelar (so he 
spells his surname) was the son of John Batchelar of ' Ashmersworth co : 
' Southton ' in more modern phrase, of Ashmansworth in the county of 
Hampshire. Though of substance enough to give his son a University 
education, John Batchelaur was not heraldically one of the county 
'gentry' ; and so he is described in the College books as 'pleb.' Richard 
was born 1620, and matriculated from Lincoln College, Oxford, at the age 
of sixteen. He graduated B.A., June 9, 1649 > anc ^ m T ^53 was appointed 
Rector of Camley, Somerset, in the northern part of the county 

The Indulgence Documents 315 

between Wells and Pensford. But his influence on that district must 
have been specially strong and deep. For in the Episcopal Returns for 
1669, a Conventicle is reported at Camley, as actually held in the Parish 
Church. Seven years after his ejectment the Puritan party is strong 
enough to hold Nonconformist services in the Church and pulpit vacated 
by him ! Thence he was ejected in 1662; when he returned to Ash- 
manshurst to live with his father. 

But he could be neither silent nor inactive. For, seven years later, 
we learn (from the Conventicle Returns made 1669) that he was one 
of the preachers at Newbury, and away north at East Ilsley, both in 
Berkshire; though his name does not occur amongst the * Heads and 
i Teachers' in Hampshire. The family name appears in the Returns 
from the Basingstoke Deanery ; where one Conventicle is reported in 
Kingscleare- Woodlands as 'Kept at one Nicholas Batchellor's house.' 
But the Conventicle is one of Quakers, whose numbers are ' not knowne.' 
*The chiefe person that frequents this & all other meetings is one Henry 

* Duckett, his Father a man of good estate the rest of meane Quality.' * 
The only Head or ' Teacher ' of it being ' Andrew Pyke the sonne of 

* one Pyke a Shoomaker att Thacham.' [R. 261 . ] 

Evidently, therefore, his friends in Nonconformity are northward 
over the border in Berks, rather than in his native county. 

The particulars given of those Conventicles in which he preached 
are of unusual interest. They were both in the Arch-Deaconry of 

At Newbury ('Newbery' it is spelt) (R. 239), the Conventicle 
with which he was connected is the first of no less than five Conventicles 
which are reported. It was held 'at M r Bond's house, morning & 

* Evening on Sundays, but since removed to severall houses. They are 
i Presbyterians who gather there, to the number of 600 ordinarily at 
' least, Ordinary persons, as to Qualitie ' ; 'all but M r Rog r Knight's 
' wife ; and the teachers include ' M r Rich: Bachiler.' They are 
given thus : * M r Benjamin Woodbridge ' (the minister ejected from 
Newbury), <M r Rich: Bachiler (sic), Mr Thomas Black of Chute, M r 

* Burges of Marlborough, M r Hen Dent of Ramsbury, and M r Tames 
' (James) of Stanes.' [Nor can I refrain from quoting the note appended 
by him who gives in the Report.] 'These meetings consists (sic) of 

* such as have beene ingaged (as generally the whole towne was) in y e late 
' warre ag l the King; And their abetto rs are such as have been ejected 
4 upon y e Act for Regulating Corporacons.' Then follows still on 
(R. 239/0 the report for East Ilsley. There a Conventicle is held ' in a 

* Barne of Thomas Cheesmans,' composed of ' Vulgar people from divers 
' parishes ' ; its ' Teachers ' being the householder, ' Thomas Cheesman, 
4 an Excommunicate person, and one Bachel r of Hampshire ' [clearly our 
Richard Batchelaur.] 

All this is abundantly confirmed by the licence-memoranda of three 

* In 1672 he was one of the signatories of a Petition [321 (321)] for Richard 
Avery to preach there, in William Jones's house ; and in the Consistory Court 
Records at Winchester Cathedral we find him 'presented ' (for non-attendance, etc.) 
on March 8, 1677, when he was fined 7 ; on November 22, 1678, when he was 

* warned' ; and on May 2, 1679, when he was excommunicated. 

316 Detailed and Expository 

years later (1672). There are four in his own neat forcible handwriting, 
three of them bearing his signature ; and he asks and obtains licences 
not alone for himself, but for a friend across the border in Newbury. 
(i) The first [321 (107)] is endorsed : ' Batchelour's note,' and reads : 

* Richard Batchelaur prayeth for a Licence to performe all Ministeriall 
Offices at his owne Houses within the Rectory of Eastwoodhay and 
Ashmansworth in the County of Soutn, Master of Arts, Presbyterian ; 
as likewise at any Place which is already or shall at any time hereafter 
bee allowed by the King's Most Excellent Majestic for Religious 

' Edward Fanner of Newbery in the County of Berks Presbyterian 
prayeth a License to bee granted by the King's Most excellent Ma tie for 
performance of all Ministeriall Offices at his owne House there, or at 
any other place allowed as is abovesaid. Hee the sd Ed: Fanner is 

' Both to bee waited for by the said 


(ii) The second is a separate application for himself. 

321 (108) ' A Licence for M r Richard Batchelaur, Master of Arts, 
Presbyterian, to performe all Gospell Ministeriall Acts in his owne 
Houses and in any Meeting Places already granted or to bee granted by 
the King's most Excellent Majestic for the exercise of God's worship, is 
humbly desired 


' Purposeth (under God) to waite for the same, but prayeth dispatch with 
convenient expedition.' 

The third, not signed 

(iii) 321 (109). 

' Batchelaur At Eastwoodhay ) J_T t L- 

a Teacher Ashmansworth J 

A Teacher 

At Newbery in Berkshire ' 

(iv) The last both dated and signed shows his efforts crowned 
with success. 

321 (110). 

'May 13: 1672 

Received Batchelaurs Person & place. 
Received Fanners Person & Place 
By mee 


As unfortunately none of these are dated except the last, it is im- 
possible to determine the intervals, if any, which elapsed between their 
presentation. At first glance there is an air of peremptory impatience 

The Indulgence Documents 317 

in the footnote in 321 (107) : ' Both to be waited for,' etc. It looks a 
little like a ' stand and deliver ' note presented to the Whitehall officials, 
as though this resolute applicant were determined that the licences should 
be made out while he waited in the office ; and that he had told them that, 
God helping him, 'under God' he would not leave the office without 
the licences. 

But second thoughts suggest a less 'categorical imperative.' It 
clearly means this only : that he had come up to London from Hamp- 
shire for this special purpose, and was determined to wait in town, 
until he could get the licences, and carry them back with him. So that 
there may have been an interval of some few days between the first 
request for both 321 (107) and the second, for his own [321 (108)]. 

The third looks like a supplemental memorandum supplying simply 
the points with which the licence-forms had to be filled in, concisely 
summarizing 321 (107). And the fourth is the acknowledgment of the 
actual receipt of the Licences on the I3th of May. 

Now one thing we do know viz., that they were made out the very 
day he acknowledges their receipt. They are entered in E. (102), and 
the entries read (they are the first four entries on that page) : 

'The howse of Rich: Batchelour in the Rectory of Eastwoodhay & 

Ashmansworth in Southampton. Presb. Meeting Place. 13 May 
4 Licence to Rich: Batchelour to be a Pr. Teacher in his howse in the 

Rectory of Eastwoodhay & Ashmansworth Southampton. 13 May 
' The House of Edw: Fanner in Newbury, Berks Pr. Meeting Place. 

13 May 
' Licence to Edw. Fanner to be a Pr. Teacher in his howse in Newbury, 

Berks. 13 May' 

So that one of two things happened. Either, by good fortune, he 
made his last visit in the afternoon of the day in which the Licences had 
been signed and dated ; or, he called early in the day when he presented 
321 (108) ; and finding them still unmade, he simply waited until they 
could be produced. The I3th being on a Monday, he may have left 
321 (107) on the previous Friday or Saturday. Anyway it was on 
Monday, the I3th of May, that he received the precious documents for 
his friend Fanner and himself, and returned home for nine brief months 
to exercise his * ministerial gifts and offices,' without fear of interference, 
from bailiff, constable, or Justice of the Peace. 

Was it another member of this family who, as Calamy tells us, 
(I. 299) was ejected from Eton ? He gives us 'John Batchiler, M.A., 
' Vice-Provost, of Eton College : of Emanuel College, Cambridge.' The 
name is so uncommon as naturally to suegest he was a brother of 

One thing is pretty certain, that the Walter Bachiler who is one of 
the twenty signatories of ' The humble Petition ' [321 (321)] ' of divers 
' of y e inhabitants of y e Parish of Kings cleare in y e county of South- 
* ampton,' for licenses to Richard Averie to be a Presbyterian Teacher 
in 'an house appertaineing to M r William Jones,' is one of his near 
kinsmen. [Kingscleare is not more than three or four miles from 
Richard's home in Ashmansworth.] 

318 Detailed and Expository 

That the property in the two adjacent parishes of Kastwoodhay and 
Ashmansworth, which Richard inherited from his father, was a valuable 
one, is shown by the Returns of the Hearth tax. Each of the houses is 
much larger than any other assessed in these parishes; and his father 
must have died soon after he had retired from Gamely, as the houses are 
assessed in his name and not in that of his father. There is little doubt 
that in going up to London he would cross the Hampshire border to 
Newbury and then traverse the fifty-six miles of the great high road to 
the Metropolis through Reading and Windsor or Staines, and by Houn- 
slow and Chiswick, Hammersmith and Kensington to Charine; Cross 
and Whitehall. 


The second Hampshire pilgrim is Isaac Chauncy from Andover. 

His sphere of regular work was confined to North- West Hants, but 
his sphere of friendly service crossed the county border into Wilts, at 
Newton Tony. 

Were we to judge the influence and service of Isaac Chauncy by 
the number of licence-memoranda in his handwriting, we should 
probably be over-estimating them. We have no less than eight, but 
only one is a Receipt [321 (90)] ; and that shows that he actually 
secured and took away with him only four licences : two for Wilts, and 
two for Hants. Of the seven application-memoranda, moreover, two 
viz., 320 (273), and 320 (274) are practically repeats, and were probably 
put in at the same time as duplicates ; and the same may be said of two 
others 320 (275) and 320 (276) so that the seven are reduced 
practically to five effectives viz., 320 (206), 320 (207), 320 (272), 
320 (273-4), and 320 (275-6), showing that not more than six visits 
were paid to Whitehall to lodge the eight memoranda. 

But they reveal a very strong personal element, which is explained 
largely by the character of Chauncy's career. 

Isaac Chauncy was the eldest of six sons of a remarkable man, 
Charles Chauncy by name, who was for some years Puritan minister of 
Ware in Hertfordshire. His Puritanism, however, brought him into 
such trouble that he emigrated (like so many more) to New England. 
There his signal ability soon brought him into influence, and he became 
President of Harvard College, occupying that position during the whole 
of the period so troublous to Nonconformists in the Old Country, and 
dying there only a year before the Indulgence was declared. Several of 
his sons were distinguished like himself by their skill, both as physicians 
and as speakers. 

Isaac was one of them, and Ichabod was another. Both of them 
settled in the West of England : Ichabod as a physician in Bristol, 
Gloucester ; and Isaac as a minister in Woodborough, east of Devizes, 
in Wilts. From Woodborough, Isaac suffered ejectment in 1662, and 
thereafter he removed to Hampshire, labouring at Andover,* having 

* That he had retired to Andover very soon after his ejectment is made probable 
by the fact that as early as May, 1664, he was ' presented ' at Winchester for non- 
conformity ' . . . Chancey de Andover.' 

The Indulgence Documents 319 

gathered a Congregational Church there, and afterwards for a time in 
conjunction with Samuel Sprint ministering to a Union Church or 
Presbyterians and Congregational ists, though both ministers seem to 
have been Presbyterians. 

About a month or six weeks after the appearance of the Indulgence 
Chauncy came up to London to secure licences for himself and his 

The first application he put in [320 (206)] was dated * April 27, 
' 1672,' and was for eight licences. Two of them were for Wilts 
County, but for Newton Tony, not far from the Hampshire border ; the 
rest were for Hampshire two for Longparish, one for Wherwell 
(' Horwell '), two for Longstock, and one for Andover ; but none of 
these are for himself. 

The second application paper 320 (207) was for twelve, included 
the same two for Wilts, and four of the six for Hants ; but this paper 
contained also six others for the same county, all centring in Andover, 
and amongst these were two for himself. The phrasing of his claim is 
a little puzzling. It is : 

' M r Isaac Chancy of Estonton neer Andover, Southto ' 

Of course, the ' Southto ' is for ' Southamptonshire,' or Hants, but 
the 'Estonton neer Andover,' is not so easy to identify. It is un- 
doubtedly the same with the * Estonto Andover,' which he appends to 
his signature of 320 (206). But the only town of the name of Easton 
in that north-western corner of Hampshire is Crux Easton, between 
Ashmansworth and Woodcott, fully eight or nine miles north of 
Andover. So that it is rather a stretching of terms to call it as he does 
* neer Andover.' Still, there is a good road between them, andi he may 
call it ' Easton by Andover,' to distinguish it from Easton by Win- 
chester, which is quite twice as far away. If this is a correct identifica- 
tion, he would be quite near to Richard Batehelaur. 

This view is supported at any rate, not contradicted by another 
application-memorandum, putting in claims for him, and for his friends, 
Samuel Sprint and James Brown, but apparently written (and sent to 
Whitehall) by some one else. (Was it Samuel Sprint, or James Brown ?) 
It is numbered 320 (208) ; is endorsed by Benson * Southampton,' 
and reads : 

4 Samuel Sprint of Upper Clatford in the County of Sowthampton 

being of the Presbiterian Preswaission desier Licence to Preach 
4 not appr. In the Towne Hall of Andover in the saeyd County or 

in any other Licensed Place 
' Isacke Chancy of Easton towne in the sec! County desiers Licence 

to preach in his One House or any other Licensed place hee 

being of the presbiterian Preswaisson 
* James Browne of Lower Clatford in the sed County desiers 

Licence to preach in his One House or any other Licensed place 

hee being of the Presbiterian Preswaission.' 

The curious spelling, so regardless of the etymology as well as the 
accustomed orthography of such words as * said,' ' desires,' ' own,' and 

320 Detailed and Expository 

especially ' persuasion,' seems to rule out the authorship of the cultured 
Samuel Sprint, and makes it more probable that James Brown put it in. 
The recurrence of the unique spelling of < persuasion ' as < Perswas- 
' sion ' in 320 (72), an application put in by Samuel Tomlins, of 
Upham, seems to suggest that it was put in by Tomlins. 

Then there come a series or group of memoranda in 320, all in 
Chauncy's handwriting 272, 273, 274, 275, and 276 all of them 

The first of them is dated May 2nd, and the two licences for himself 
and his house are entered as issued on May ist, in E. (55) : 

1 Chancy 


East Town 

4 East Town 



4 The howse of Isack Chancy of Easton Town in South- 
4 ton licensed to be a Pr. Meeting Place. I May 72 

* License to Isack Chancy to be a Pr. Teacher in his 
' howse in Easton Town Southampton, i May 72 ' ; 

and there follow on the same page the entries of James Brown's 
licences for Lower Clatford ( c Chatford ' it is written), increasing the 
probability that the application 320 (208) was put in by James Brown. 
[For some strange reason Samuel Sprint's licences were not issued till 
the end of June, after the most persistent dunning of the Whitehall 

Now April 2yth, the date when he put in his first application, was a 
Saturday. There were only two ' working days' then between his first 
application and the issue of his licences Monday, the 29th, and 
Tuesday, the 3Oth. Is it not unlikely, therefore, that Isaac Chauncy 
put in 320 (207), the first mem. in which his name appears on the 
Monday, and that his application was reinforced by James Browne's 
[320 (208)] on Tuesday, so that when he calls on either Wednesday, 
May ist, or Thursday, May 2nd, he finds his licences ready, and James 
Browne's as well. There is no memorandum of receipt preserved at 
the Record Office, so that we are left to conjecture, but I venture to 
submit that it is a very natural and probable one. By this time, he has 
been commissioned by other brethren, who have heard that he is in 
London to try to secure licences for them. 

In the first of this series [320 (272)] he asks for three licences for 
Wilts and two for Hants. 

The Wilts licences are to be for one teacher and two houses in 
Marlborough. Now that is a clear memory of his old Wiltshire ministry, 
for Marlborough is scarcely five miles from Woodborough, whence he 
was ejected. The Hants licences are for a Baptist brother of Stoke for 
a place in Whitchurch on the Basingstoke road, nearer to Andover 
than < Easton Town.' 

320 (273) is undated, repeats the applications for Marlborough and 
for Whitchurch; adds one for his friend, Samuel Sprint, of Upper 
Clatford ; and as Sprint's former application for the Town Hall has been 
rejected (it is marked in the margin of 320 (208) * not appr.'), he 
substitutes for it an application for ' The Farm House in Newstreet, in 

The Indulgence Documents 321 

4 Andover,' as a meeting-place for both Presbyterians and Independents. 
320 (274) is merely a duplicate of 320 (273). It is doubtful whether it 
is in Chauncy's hand. 

The next shows that his patience is being tried. He has paid four 
visits at least to Whitehall for his friend Sprint without result, and in 
this 320 (275), after enumerating seven licences desired, all in Hamp- 
shire those for Samuel Sprint being put first he appends the note : 

4 These have been long waited for 

<By me Is : CHANCY.' 

320 (276) is simply a replica of the above [320 (275)] , only in an 
abbreviated form. Neither of these are dated, but I should put them 
some days later than 320 (272), say May yth or 8th, or his complaint 
would scarcely be justified even in the most impatient enthusiast. 

And now we come to the last of his memoranda [321 (90)], the one 
Receipt in the whole. It is dated May loth, and shows that he is able 
at last to take away the six licences which he had applied for in the very 
first memorandum he presented [320 (206)] viz., the two for Newton 
Tony, Wilts, and four for Hants ; two persons and two houses in Long- 
parish and Longstock. The entries of these are dated May 8th 
(Wednesday), which is nine days after they were applied for, and he 
carries them off two days later, May loth (Friday). Beside these, another 
for which he had applied at the same time viz., that for Mr. Hopkins' 
house in Wherwell was issued May 8th (the same day as those which 
he took away on the loth); but someone else must have called and 
received it for him. He had now been full three weeks in London, and 
he had to return to Hampshire without his friend Sprint's licences. 
Indeed, spite his efforts on Sprint's behalf, Sprint's licences were not 
issued till long after this. His personal licence was granted June 29th, 
but the licence for his house not for a month later, July 25th. 

Calamy tells us that 'sometime after the recalling of Charles's 
4 Indulgence,' he came to London with the design of practising as a 
physician ; but that, after some years of ' practice,' he took to < preach- 
' ing ' again, being chosen as the successor of Mr. Clarkson, who himself 
had succeeded Dr. John Owen. This pastorate he maintained for four- 
teen years, 1687-1701 ; for part of the time being Tutor to 'the Dis- 
4 senting Academy in London.' 

It is worthy of note that Isaac Chauncy evidently changed his views 
on Church polity, and that very late in life. For some years after his 
ejectment he was content to be regarded a Presbyterian. During his 
pastorate at Andover he called himself such; and when in 1672 he 
applied for and obtained licences at Whitehall, it was as a Presbyterian 
Teacher that he put in his application and secured his licence. It is 
questionable whether his views even then were very strong for Presby- 
terianism, for he worked earnestly for the union of his Church with the 
other Andover Church, that of the Congregationalists, though in vain. 
He was quite as eager or willing to secure licences for Congregationalists 
as for Presbyterians. After leaving Hampshire, his first thirteen or 
fourteen years' residence in London as a physician gave him greater 


322 Detailed and Expository 

freedom to reconsider the whole problem, and when he resumed the 
ministry, it was to succeed Clarkson, a man of * moderate principles' 
(but like Clarkson's predecessor a Congregationalist), and it was after he 
had been pastor just ten years that he published a Congregational 
Manual, entitled ' The Divine Institution of Congregational Churches.' 
* London: Printed for Nathaniel Hiller, at the Princes Arms, in Leaden- 
Hall Street, over against St. Mary Ax, 1697.' 


The third pilgrim from Hants is Samuel Tomlins from Central 

This is the ' Samuel Tomlyns, M.A.,' of Calamy (II. 263), from 
whom we learn that he was a native of Newbury, Berks ; was educated 
at Trinity College, Cambridge ; was presented to the Rectory of 
Crawley in 1655, and was thence ejected in 1662. Crawley is some 
seven miles north-west of Winchester. Calamy says that ' he after- 
4 wards preached privately as he had opportunity till he was called to a 
4 congregation at Winchester.' 

To this, the Return of Bishop Morley in 1669 bears witness, for he 
is there reported [R. 263] as preaching to a Conventicle in Winchester. 
It is there described as a Conventicle of Presbyterians meeting ' Att the 
4 house of one Jones' in the parish of 'St. Michaels in the Soke at 
4 Winton,' and he is mentioned as one of two < Heads & Teachers,' 
under the description < Mr. Tomlins formerly Intruder att Crawley,' in 
association with * Mr. Marshall, a violent Nonconformist ' (doubtless 
W.M. ejected from Hursley). 

Apparently, however, he was not living in Winchester, but in 
Upham, a place about as distant south-east from Winchester as Crawley 
is north-west ; and in 1672 he came up to London specially to procure 
licences for himself, and places in which to preach. His application is 
rather original in form. It is contained in 320 (72), is endorsed by 
Benson, ' Southampton,' and reads : 

' Samuel Tomlins, Late Minister & of the Presbiterian Perswassion 
Living in the pish of Upham in the County of Southamton desiers the 
Benefit of Our Most Gratious Majesties Declaration for Granting 
Liberty to preach in the Howse of Ann Complin widdow in the Citty 
of Winchester and Over the Markett House of the sayde Citty and in 
Order theire unto desiers a License for the same.' 

His application is not dated, so that we have no means of judging 
whether the Whitehall officials were prompt or not in their response to 
it. But it must have been soon after the issue of the Declaration, since 
the licences which were both granted were dated April I3th that is, 
less than a month after the Declaration appeared. They are entered on 
E. (19) and E. (20) : 

(19). < Licence to Samuel Tomlins to be a Presb. Teacher in 

y e howse of Ann Complin in Winton & over 
Winton the Markett place of that Citty. 13 Apr. 1672. 

The Indulgence Documents 323 




Complins howse. 

The howse of Ann Complin in Winton & over the 
Markett howse of the sd Citty licensed to be a Pr. 
Meeting place. 13 Apr. 1672.' 

With regard to the ' place ' or < places ' in Winchester, in which he 
desired licence to preach : the expression used by him in his application 
is a little ambiguous. 'The howse of Ann Complin in Winton & 
* over the Markett howse of the s d Citty ' may mean either ' only one 
4 place,' the two phrases following the name ' Complin ' being only a 
two-fold description of Ann Complin's house viz., that it was in the 
City of Winchester, and was over the Market House. But the words 
may also mean two places viz., Widdow Complin's house in the 
City, and the Room or Hall over the Market House. I am inclined 
to think that Tomlins intended the latter. The Whitehall officials 
astutely drew out the licence in exactly the terms of the applica- 
tion, and by implication the one place-licence implies that they took 
his words to mean c one ' place. 

Samuel Tomlins, however, did not continue long to live in Upham. 
He came to live in Winchester itself. Of that fact we have indisputable 
evidence in the Records of the Consistory Court in Winchester Cathe- 
dral. They show him in the year 1679 to be alike a resident in 
St. Thomas's Parish in that city, and to be the object of very persistent 
persecution. His name appears first among the presentments for 
Nonconformity, May 2, 1679 (in the form apparently of persistent 
absence from the Parish Church), when he is fined seven shillings : 

4 .... Tomlins, po ae S cti Thomae Winton . . . vij s ' 

This seems, however, to have been far from the first offence, for the 
note is added : c paid hitherto for dismissions to M r Bramston.' 

The sentence is repeated, too, at Courts held a week later, May 9 ; 
a week after that, May 16 when the entry is : 

4 1679. May 1 6. . . . Tomlins de Civitate Winton Renovatur 
deer. vij s '; 

and a fortnight after that there is a similar entry for May 30. 

He is persistent in his offence ; and his persecutors are persistent in 
their prosecutions ; for he is presented again twice in June the second 
time on June 27. But beyond this date they seem unwilling to accept 
mere fines, and in the beginning of July they excommunicate him, 
following up his excommunication two months later by his arrest and 
imprisonment. This the following entries clearly attest : 

4 1 679. July 4. 

' Samuelem Tomlins de Civitate Winton 

* Dims pronuntiavit eum contumacem, et in pcenam contumaciae 

c excom fore decrevit 

< M r Henricus Andeson 

4 ctcus praedict 
c eundem Samuelem Tomlins excommunicavit, 

' in scripto prob 1 in schedula.' 

324 Detailed ana Expository 

And on September 17, 1679, of a list of seven for whose arrest z 
warrant is issued, the second is Samuel Tomlins : 

' Decernitur significavit pro Corporis captione 
' Ricfti Avery 
* Samuelis Tomlins 

So that the last glimpse we have or Samuel Tomlins is as a faithful con- 
fessor, willing to suffer fines and imprisonment for conscience' sake.* 


From the South- Western group we have six : three from Dorset, 
and three from Devon. None come up from Wilts, or Somerset, or 

i. From Dorset the three are : Richard Harris, from Shaftsbury, 
on the borders of Wilts; Joshua Churchill, from Dorchester, Central 
South ; and John Hodder, from Hawkchurch, its extreme western 


Richard Harris, of Shaftsbury. 

If I am right in placing him in the ' noble band,' he will be the 
seventh Puritan layman who journeys to London to secure his licence 
or, at any rate, visits Whitehall, and takes his licence away with him. 
I do so place him, on the strength of a note appended to 320 (114). 
This paper is an application - memorandum, endorsed by Benson 
4 Dorset and Devon ', put in by John Hickes, who signs the paper, 
appending to his name the date ' 17 Ap: 72' (/.*., only a little more 
than a month after the Declaration of Indulgence had been published). 

The application is for four licences in Devon and two in Dorset. 
The two in Dorset are both for Shaftsbury the one a general licence 
for a Mr. William Eastman (who had been ejected from Everley, 
Wilts), and the other for the house of this Puritan gentleman, Richard 

These two licences are entered on E. (20) as made out and issued 
that same day. They are the first two entries on that page : 

' Shafsberry 


Harris howse 

' Eastman 



' The howse of Richard Harris in Shafsberry, Dorsetshire 
licensed for a Presb. Meeting place. 17. Apr. 72. 

* Licence to W m Eastman to be a Presb. Teacher in any 
allowed place. 17. Apr. 72. of Shafsberry Dor- 
setshire. 17. Apr. 72.' 

*His fellow 'sufferer,' Richard Avery, had been ejected from someplace (un- 
known to Calamy) in Berkshire [Cal. i. 296], in 1669, was chaplain to Mrs. Richard 
Cromwell in Hursley (R. 263) ; and in 1672, on the petition of twenty of the 
inhabitants of Kingscleare, was licensed to preach in the house of William Jones 


The Indulgence Documents 325 

The four licences in Devon, applied for on the same memorandum, 
are also entered on E. (30), and follow these two without a gap. But 
they are not issued till the following day, April 18. I cannot help 
attaching special significance, therefore, to the note to which I have 
referred. A star placed between the Christian and surname of Richard 
Harris (on the last line of the application-memorandum) refers to a 
footnote, which reads thus : ( * given him that night.' 

Of course, it might ' possibly ' (apart from dates) refer to the whole 
of the licences asked for in 320 (114), and mean that they were all 
given to John Hickes late the same day on which the application was 
made. The dates of issue of the licences preclude that supposition. It 
is only the two Shaftsbury licences which were made out and issued 
April 17 the same day on which John Hickes put in the application. 
So that it could be only these two which could be ' given out ' that same 
day. As the asterisk, therefore, is affixed to Richard Harris's name, it 
is most natural to make the ' him ' of the note to apply to Richard 
Harris; and as Mr. William Eastman's licence was ready also, it is 
most probable that Eastman's licence would be given out to Richard 
Harris at the same time that night, the late evening of Wednesday, 
April 17. 

The interpretation I put upon these data, then, is the following. 
Both Eastman, the preacher, and Richard Harris, the householder, had 
put their claims into the hands of John Hickes. John Hickes had 
acted with his usual promptitude. Some occasion had arisen, or oppor- 
tunity had been given, for Richard Harris to come up to London, so 
that late in the afternoon he had called at Whitehall ; and either 
while he waited for them, or when he called a little later, these two 
Shaftsbury licences were 'given him that night.' He would return 
with them to Shaftsbury by the first Salisbury coach through 
Hounslow, Staines, Basingstoke, Whitchurch, and Andover (a run of 
eighty-one miles), and on to Shaftsbury (another nineteen) a hundred 
miles in all. 


He comes all the way from Dorchester, about twenty miles further 
than Richard Harris, from Shaftsbury. The first part of the way (about 
forty miles) on the main road from Bridport, through Blandford to 
Salisbury, and thence to London. 

Calamy can tell us little about him (II. 129), save that he was 
ejected from Fordington, a suburb of Dorchester, on the road out to 
Winterbourne Came ; and that some time after his ejectment he assisted 
Mr. Benn at Dorchester, and succeeded him there. The State Papers 
inform us that in 1663-64 he, with four other ejected ministers, had been 

* with many other factious persons of Dochester comitted to prison on sus- 

* picon of having an hand in the late treasonable plott,' and these 'Original 
'Records' largely supplement Calamy's information. In 1665-66 the 
Bishop of Bristol reports of him (R. 315) ' M r Churchill, late Vicar 

* of Fordington ' that he ' is now Resident at Compton Valence afore- 
' said ' : the last word referring to the further fact reported in the pre- 

326 Detailed and Expository 

ceding line that Mr. Thorne, late Rector of Radipole, was also 
residing there. For a time, then, he lived in retirement, as a neighbour 
of his fellow-sufferer, Mr. Thorne at Compton Valence, and now 
East Compton, on the old Roman Road, about seven miles west of 
Dorchester. Though in retirement, however, he is not inactive. Three 
or four years later, in 1669, he is reported (R. 243) as one of the 
preachers at a Conventicle of ' 100 or 200,' held ' At M r Thomas Graves 
'and his sonnes house' in Donhead St. Andrew, right over the north- 
eastern border of the county, beyond Shaftsbury, in Wilts ; as well as 
still at work among his old friends (R. 247) preaching at ' a constant 
' Conventicle ' in Fordington of two hundred persons. Here he is 
associated with ' M r Benn,' who had been ejected from Dorchester. 
Probably, therefore, it was in this mutual service at Fordington that he 
was preparing to take up the'work at Dorchester as Mr. Benn's assistant. 
When the Indulgence was declared in 1672, the same energy which 
impelled him to evangelistic labour beyond the limits of his county drove 
him up to London, within a month from its publication, to secure 
licences for himself and his friends. Although the earliest memo- 
randum that bears his name is undated, the date of the issue of the 
licence which he therein applied for shows that he must have travelled 
up to London either the end of the week preceding Sunday, April 14, 
or on the Monday or Tuesday following it. 

There are two memoranda of application referring to licences for 
himself and a friend of his viz., 320 (116) and 320 (117) ; and though 
only the latter bears his name, it is difficult to resist the impression that 
he wrote (or, at least, presented) them both at Whitehall on Tuesday, 
April 1 6. 

320 (116) is endorsed by Benson ' Dorsetshire,' and reads : 

' M r Joshua Churchill Teacher, of the Congregationall way. 

* The meeting place at his own house in Dorchester in Dorset- 
shire & at M r Benjamin Davenish's house in Fordington 

320 (117) reads : 

4 The house of Benjamin Devenish in Fordington in the County of 
dorsett for a meeting place for the Congregationall perswation. 


The licences are granted immediately, and are entered as issued 
April 17, 1672, on E. (29), in a form which is unusual, and which 
shows that Churchill's own separate application for his friend's house in 
Fordington has produced its impression on the official mind. The two 
houses (his own in Dorchester and Benjamin Devenish's in Fordington) 
are mentioned together in the Entry for the place-licence as well as in 
the personal, instead of being entered as two separate licences (though I 
imagine the two must have been actually issued) : 

1 Licence to Josuha Churchill to be a Congregationall 
Teacher in his owne howse in Dorchester & Beri- 

' Churchill 



jamin Devenish's in Fordington. 17. Apr. 72. 

The Indulgence Documents 327 

' Dorchester 

The bowses of Josua Churchill in Dorchester & Ben- 
jamin Devenish's howse in Fordington to be a 
Congregationall Meeting place. 17. Apr. 72.' 

These three licences were all ready for him, then, on the evening 
of Wednesday, April 17. He called at Whitehall the next day for 
320 (143), a composite memorandum the first part an application, and 
the second, a receipt, signed in full ' Joshua Churchill ' is dated 
4 Apr. 1 8, 72. Apparently, he did not think the licences he had 
already applied for could yet be ready : and the officials do not trouble 
to look them out and give them to him. So he goes away without 
them, merely leaving applications for two London brethren, and taking 
with him four licences for his own West Country but only for 
Somerset and Gloucester, not for Dorset ; for which he appends the 
curiously indefinite receipt : 

* Receaved four Licences for Bristol, & Temple :Coome 

<p me 

'Apr. 1 8 72.' 

They evidently were the licences for John Thompson, in John 
Harris's house, in Castle Street, Bristol ; and for John Eaton in James 
White's house, in Temple Comb, in Somerset entered on pp. E. (22) 
and E. (23 ), dated April 1 6 all of them Congregationalists. So were the 
two London brethren, who cannot go so far as Whitehall themselves, 
but must get a brother all the way from Dorchester to go for them ! 
The application is in Churchill's handwriting, and is sufficiently peculiar 
in form and spelling to cite : 

4 Pray Licence for Francis Johnson M r Arts who is of the per- 
swassion comonly called In. &c to preach in his owne house in 
St. Andrews parish Holborne 

< The same for Wittm Beale in his house in St. Giles Cripplegate 
of y e same perswassion &c.' 

Francis Johnson had been Master of University College, Oxford 
(Cal. I. 257), and one of Oliver's chaplains. After his ejectment 
he had retired to c the obscurity ' of London, living c in one of his own 
< houses in Gray's-Inn-Lane, London ' (Calamy). His licences, entered 
on E. (194), amply confirm Calamy's statement. They read : 

' The howse of Francis Johnson in Grayes Inn, London Ind. 

4 Licence to Fran: Johnson to be an Ind. Teacher in his own 

howse at Grays Inn Lane, London.' 

William Beal had been ejected from Stow in the Wold, Gloucester- 
shire (Cal. II. 254), and all Calamy has to say of him is that < he died 
' in London not long after his ejectment.' Evidently Calamy's informant 
was wrong in his chronology. He applies for, and through Joshua 
Churchill receives, licence to preach in his own house in Cripplegate 
' ten years after his ejectment.' 

328 Detailed and Expository 

The licences are entered E. (188) and E. (194), only in the former 
his name is incorrectly spelt ' Beat.' 
E. (188) : 

4 Licence to W m Beat to be an Ind. Teacher in his howse in 
Cripplegate, London.' 

E. (194) : 

4 The howse of W m Beale in Cripplegate, London Ind.' 

His will, too, shows that his family belonged to Gloucester City, 
and that he was living seven years after obtaining his licences in 
' 3 King's Court, Whitecross Street.' It was proved April 14, 1679. 

As these undated entries have other entries dated June 29 on the 
pages between them E. (190), E. (191), and E. (192) it is pretty 
evident that Joshua Churchill's application remained unattended to for 
ten or eleven weeks. 

He appears to have remained in London some time. At any 
rate, it was not till nearly a fortnight had passed that he received his 
own licences and that of his friend Benjamin Devenish. It was on 
May Day he went, and he seems to have met in Sir Joseph Williamson's 
Office two other stalwarts in this matter of securing licences under the 
Indulgence Richard Steele (Philip Henry's friend) and James Innes, 
junior (the Nonconformists' universal provider). At any rate, the paper 
320 (242), on which he acknowledges the receipt of his licences, is used 
also for a similar purpose by them both, as is testified by the two signed 
lists which follow his.* 

It would also appear from 320 (177) and 320 (182) that some 
one had applied for another Congregational meeting-place in Fording- 
ton, and for two licences for the Congregationalist Edward Dammer, of 
Winterbourne Stickland (between Blandford and Dorchester) ; and he 
takes these two latter with his own, as well as two for Daniel Bull, of 
Stoke Newington. It seems a ' far cry ' from Dorset to Stoke Newington 
a northern suburb of London. But the connection was a real one. 
Daniel Bull must have been a friend of Edward Buckler, who had been 
ejected from Bradford Abbas, for in 1669 he is reported (R. 247) as 
preaching with him to ' Severall Conventicles uncertaine,' c of 60 or 80,' 
' At the house of Michael Hervey Esq r a Justice of the Peace ' in the 
parish of 'Yetminster & Clifton' which borders on that of Bradford 
Abbas. . . . Was Joshua Churchill staying with Daniel Bull ? 

Joshua Churchill would not prolong his stay much in London after 
receiving his licences, on May i. But he did not leave the Whitehall 
Office before he had left three separate application-memoranda for three 
Dorset friends. The first [320 (264)] was for his colleague and chief 

* The form of the receipt, too, bears incidental testimony to the pressure of busi- 
ness at Whitehall in this licence department on that May Day, 1672. He receives 
the licences, not from Sir Joseph Williamson nor even from Francis Benson, his 
chief clerk, but from a subordinate, Mr. Reynolds. It is signed: 'Rece d of 
1 M r Alexander Raynolds this first day of May 1672 the Licenses for the places & 
' persons above menconed. I say, rec d by me, Joshua Churchill.' 

The Indulgence Documents 329 

in the work in Dorchester. It is endorsed by Benson ' Dorset,' and 
reads : 

< M r William Ben of Dorchester of the Congregationall perswation, 
at the house of Philip Stansby in Dorchester in the County of 
Dorset ' 

The second [320 (265)] was for another Congregationalist of 
Dorchester : 

4 M r Benjamin Way of Dorchester of the Congregationall perswa- 
tion for the house of M r William Hayden in Dorchester in the 
County of Dorset ' 

And the third is for a third Congregational brother, of East Morden, 
on the ridge between Beer Regis and Wimborne Minster [320 (266)] : 

' M r Philip Lamb of the Congregationall perswation, for his owne 
house at East Morden in the County of Dorset ' 

These memoranda are not dated, but the licences were all issued 
that same May Day. William Ben's are entered on E. (57), Benjamin 
Way's on E. (61), and Philip Lamb's on E. (62) ; and James Innes, 
junior, called for them, probably on the 2nd or 3rd of May, for he 
acknowledges the receipt of these six and fifty-one others on one 
memorandum, numbered 320 (295) ; which is placed together with 
seven other undated memoranda between 320 (287), which is dated 
4 May y e 2nd 1672,' and a letter, 320 (296), which is dated 'May 3 d 
4 1672.' 

Probably, therefore, we may picture Joshua Churchill calling at 
Whitehall early with Richard Steele and James Innes, junior receiv- 
ing his six licences, and leaving his three application-memoranda ; 
returning to Mr. Daniel Bull's at Stoke Newington to leave his two 
licences with his host, and the following day returning to Dorchester 
by stage coach the way he came. 

One other fact about him is revealed by these documents viz., that 
he was one of the ministers who signed ' The humble acknowledgment 

* of severall Nonconforming ministers of the County of Dorset ' [321 (77)] 
which, from the endorsement in Francis Benson's hand, was presented 
Friday, May 10. The names of his Dorchester friends stand high up 
upon the list. His own chier's name, indeed, < W m Ben,' stands second ; 
and Benjamin Way's fifth ; but he signs last in the middle column of 
the three columns of autograph signatures which are appended to the 

That, again, makes it the more probable that he returned to Dor- 
chester soon after May I ; and that as soon as he had personally 
delivered their licences to his friends in Dorchester, he would set them 
and other Dorset Nonconformists upon the project of sending up this 

* Acknowledgment ' to the King, bringing word from what he had 
heard himself at Whitehall that such an expression of gratitude and 
loyalty would be specially welcome at Court. 

330 Detailed and Expository 

And so we catch glimpses of his fortnight in London, from about the 
middle of April to the first week in May. 

Was he any relative of Awnsham Churchill, the publisher of 
Locke's 4 Letter of Toleration ' ? The two brothers Awnsham and 
John Churchill carrying on business (1689) at the 'Black-Swan, in 
4 Ave-Mary-lane, near Pater-Noster-Row,' published Locke's Second and 
Third Letters, and such books as Rushworth's c Historical Collections,' 
Bishop Hall's Works, Dr. Burnet's 4 Travels,' &c. They were also 
associated with Abel Swale, as publishers of the valuable series of County 
Maps by Rob 1 Morden. Each map has this note affixed at foot : 

fAbel Swale 
4 Sold byx Awnsham & 

(John Churchill ' 

The Town Records of Dorchester show in a way, I believe, to be 
quite unique the importance in the eyes of the Corporation of the 
licences which Nonconformist ministers in the town had secured. 
Only a week after the Acknowledgment had been sent up to the King 
every one of the licensees came to the Town Hall and exhibited their 
licences, so that all the Town officials might know that they had now 
the King's authority to meet for worship, according to the dictates of 
their conscience, outside the parish churches and in methods other than 
those prescribed by the Book of Common Prayer. In addition to those, 
too, which Joshua Churchill had been instrumental in securing, there 
were three which had been obtained by George Hammond (the Presby- 
terian), in response to a Petition addressed by ten of the citizens direct 
to the King [321 (197^)]. The entries in the Town Records are as 
follows : 

4 17 May 1672. 

* This day M r William Ben pduced his Ma tles Licence to bee a 

Teacher of the Congregation allowed by his Ma*y in the Roome 

of M r Phillip Stansby in Dorchester. Dat i mo May 1672 for 

y e us of such as doe not conforme 
4 the same day M r Benjamin Way pduced the like for the house 

of M r W m Heydon in Dorch: for y e us of such as doe not 

4 M r Georg Hamon pduce the like for y e Presbiterian pswasion in 

any place 4 Aprill 1672 [N.B. The date was really April n, 

1672 vide E. (10).] 
4 M r Georg Hamon pduceth two other Licenses date the 8 day of 

May 1672 one for y e place viz l att M r John West's howse in 

Dorch: & John Marsh howse 
4 M r Joshua Churchill pduced the like for himselfe a Congregational 

teacher in his owne howse in Dorchester.' 

The Town Records also give ample proof that Philip Stansby, 
whose house was licensed to receive Mr. Ben's congregation, was one of 
the most prominent and influential of Dorchester's citizens. 

In 1647, October 8, he was chosen 4 Governor of Dorchester 
* Hospital.' 

The Indulgence Documents 331 

In 1654 ne was chosen a Capital Burgess in the place of James 
Gould, dispossed. 

In 1656 he was made Bailiff, and in 1657 ne was elected Mayor. 

In 1660 he acted as Alderman, and in 1661 he was chosen Steward 
of the Hospital. 


The third man from Dorset was John Hodder. 

That is, according to modern maps and modern gazetteers, for he 
came from Thorncombe which, according to these, is reckoned in 
Dorset. Not so, on the evidence of ancient maps or of these licence- 
documents according to which Thorncombe is in Devon, though 
Devon * detached,' being cut off from the body of the county by a strip 
of Dorset running up almost to Chard, in Somerset. 

There is no doubt, however, about his being a Dorset man, both by 
birth and by virtue of the sphere of his ministry. 

Calamy has little to tell us of him (Cal. II. 130). He simply gives 
us Hawkchurch, in Dorset, as the place whence he was ejected, adding 
that < after his ejectment ' he usually preached at Mr. Henley's at 
Colway House, near Lyme. From Foster's * Alumni Oxonienses ' 
we know that he was born in 1627 at Beaminster (which was only a 
few miles from Thorncombe and Hawkchurch, and, without question, 
in Dorset), of which his father, and namesake, was Rector ; that he 
matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford, in 1642 ; and, after leaving 
1662 (so that he was then a man of thirty-five, in the prime of his 
College, was Rector of Hawkchurch, Dorset, till he was ejected in 

He was a great Loyalist, Calamy tells us, though a strong Puritan, and 
a powerful preacher. After his ejectment though Calamy's statement 
may be true that he preached often at Colway, just north of Lyme Regis 
the Episcopal Returns make it clear that he retired to Thorncombe, 
where he had bought or inherited an estate, on which he lived some con- 
siderable time. Indeed, he seems to have become the centre of a little 
colony of ejected Nonconformist ministers, just as John Hickes did, 
first at Saltash, Cornwall, and afterwards at Kingsbridge, Devon. In 
1665-66 Seth Ward, Bishop of Exeter, reports him as living there. In 
the resume (R. 307), amongst the seventy-three Nonconformist ejected 
Ministers he returns as living in his diocese, he reports in c Thorn- 
< combe. 27. John Hodder. 28. M r Branker. 29. M r Wakeley & 
c 30. M r Trottle '; and in his fuller account of f Nonconformists ' in the 
4 Honyton Deanery' (R. 402), he describes him and his friends as 
follows : 

4 M r John Hodder sometymes minister of Hawkchurch in Dorsett, 
now liveing in Thorncomb on his owne demeasne 

< M r Branker sometymes minister of Sturminster Newton in Dorsett 

teaching schoole in Thornecombe 

< M r Wakeley sometymes minister of Laurence Lydiat in Somersett 

now liveing in Thornecombe on his own demeasnes 
4 M r Trottle sometymes minister in Dorsett now living in Thorne- 

332 Detailed and Expository 

So that with him in this isolated part of County Devon were settled 
two brother ministers from Dorset, both from the valley of the Stour 
Mr. Trottle, from Spetisbury (Mr. Palmer has been able to supply the 
information as to the parish in Dorset whence he was ejected [vide 
Index]), and Mr. Branker, from Sturminster Newton (high up the river, 
in the neighbourhood of Stalbridge and Shaftsbury), who was ekeing out 
a livelihood there by teaching school ; and one from over its northern 
border, from Laurence Lydiat (half-way between Williton and Taun- 
ton), who, like himself, had bought or inherited a little estate, so as to 
make Thornecombe his settled home. 

That he did not lay aside his spiritual ministry and was actively 
associated with Mr. Wakeley in it we have proof in the Episcopal 
Returns of three or four years later. In 1669 Seth Ward's successor 
(Anthony Sparrow) reports (R. 185^) three Conventicles in Thorne- 
combe one of Quakers, c incosiderable ' in numbers ; and two other of 
Presbyterians one held in the house of Edmund Prideaux, Esq. (Pri- 
deaux was a great family name in Devon and Cornwall), and the other 
in the houses of John Wakeley and John Hodder (whom he describes 
as * Noncoformists '), consisting of ' about 100, oftentimes more,' and 
ministered to by these two brethren c the said M r Wakely & M r Hodder.' 

And now, three years later not two months after the publication 
of Charles's Indulgence we find John Hodder coming up to London 
early in May, 1672, to secure licences for himself and friends. 

He had already commissioned Stephen Ford (of Southwark) to act 
for him, and in 320 (56), which Benson endorses ' Ford's note,' the 
second item on his list of applications is : 

< 2. A Lycence for M r John Hodder of Thorncombe. And for M r 

John Wakeley's house in Thorncombe in y e County of Devon. 
y e people are of y e presbiterian perswasion ' 

The licence is not forthcoming ; and we find James Innes, junior, 
next taking up their case, and presenting it with that of a lay friend in 
Hawkchurch in a long list of thirty-five, in these terms [320 (227)] : 

4 M r John Hodder of Thornecombe in Devon. Presb. 

his own house there & a house or outhouse belonging to Tho: 
Moor Esq r in Hawkchurch in Dorcett' 

His old parishioners are evidently anxious to recover his ministry 
under the aegis of the Royal Indulgence. But young Innes is not 
successful either (the first time of asking), so he puts in another long 
list, 321 (20), and Hodder's name heads the list : 

< M r John Hodder Presb. 

his own house in Thorncombe Devon 

a house belonging to Tho: Moore Esq r in Hawkchurch in 
Dorcett ' 

This time the application is successful, for all three of these licences 
are granted, and entered as issued May 8, 1672, on E. (78) : 

The Indulgence Documents 333 

' Licence to John Hodder to be a Pr. Teacher in his howse in 

Thornecomb, Devon. 8 May 72. 
4 The howse of Thomas More Esq r in Hawk Church Dorsett Pr. 

Meeting Place. 8 May 72. 
4 The howse of John Hodder in Thornecomb, Devon Pr. Meeting 

Place. 8 May 72.' 

There is no memorandum of receipt preserved in the Record 
Office ; but, as we have an application-memorandum for licences for 
West Country friends signed by him, and dated the same day his own 
licences were issued, I take it that he had come up to London on the 
Monday or Tuesday, May 6 or 7 ; and, calling on Wednesday afternoon 
(the 8th), had found them ready, and received them putting in his 
application 321 (26) before he left the Office. It is endorsed by 
Benson, c Hodder's note.' 

It is for one licence for Somerset and four for Dorset. It reads : 

* A Licence ffor M r Robte Pinny of Chard parish. Presb: Som r st. 
< A Licence ffor M r Edward Dammer of Dorchester. Congr. 

' A Licence ffor the house of M rs Dorothy Chaplain in Trinity 
pish in Wareham Dors 1 Presb. 

* A Licence ffor M r James Hallett of Winterbourne Kingston Dors 1 


* A Licence ffor the house of M rs Woolfrey in Winterbourne King- 

ston for Presb: 

4 A Licence for the house of M r John Darner in Cerne, Dors 1 ffor a 
meeting, for those of y e Presb: 

' Desir'd by mee 


' May y e 8th.' 

As we find young Innes taking up several of these cases, and fetch- 
ing the licences away from Whitehall when granted over a week 
later, it is natural to conclude that John Hodder returned to Thorne- 
comb as soon as he had received the licences in which he was most 
deeply interested those for himself as a preacher, for his own house 
in Thornecomb, and for his friend Mr. Moor in his old parish of 

His name appears in the 'Thanks o